“If you are willing to do something that might not work, you’re closer to being an artist.”
—Seth Godin

What Is a Comma Splice? And Why Do Editors Hate Them?

We’re venturing into a realm where writers bend the rules of grammar in the name of creativity, but to the great frustration of editors. A comma splice is one of the most easily avoidable grammatical travesties.

How to Make Your Editor Hate You: Splice Your Commas

What Is a Comma Splice?

It pains me to write this, but here is a comma splice in action:

Louis stomped the accelerator into the floor of the car, his pursuer’s headlights shone in his rear-view mirror.

What’s missing from that sentence?

If you were annoyed by the lack of a conjunction, then congratulations! You win at grammar.

Why You Shouldn’t EVER Use a Comma Splice

Comma SpliceA comma splice occurs when a writer uses a comma by itself to connect two independent clauses, and speaking from an editorial perspective, I will tell you that they are evil.

Joe can attest to the fact that they’re one of my biggest pet peeves.

So in order to prevent your writing from getting on an editor’s (or an astute reader’s) nerves, I will tell you now: DO NOT USE COMMA SPLICES.

How to Fix a Comma Splice

Instead, use a coordinating conjunction (and, but, as, or, etc.) to connect the two clauses.

Louis stomped the accelerator into the floor of the car as his pursuer’s headlights shone in his rear-view mirror.

See? Much better. Or if you wanted to get fancy, you could add a semicolon to the sentence.

Louis stomped the accelerator into the floor of the car; his pursuer’s headlights shone in his rear-view mirror.

And finally, if your head is spinning from my use of the words “conjunction” and “semicolon,” just make two good sentences out of one bad one.

Louis stomped the accelerator into the floor of his car. His pursuer’s headlights shone in his rear-view mirror.

When you have three other perfectly acceptable and grammatically correct methods of writing a sentence (or two), there is no excuse for a comma splice.

Is It Ever Okay to Use a Comma Splice?

Comma SpliceFor those who plead the case for creative use of structure and punctuation, I understand where you are coming from.

However, as Grammar Girl so eloquently states in her blog condemning the comma splice, you are not Cormac McCarthy.

Do not arbitrarily throw the rules of grammar to the wind. Believe it or not, people pay attention to those things.

Want to improve your grammar? Check out our free email tutorial, Good Grammar 101. Click here to get a preview of the grammar tutorial.

How do you feel about comma splices? 

PRACTICE

Joe here: Liz couldn’t think of a practice and assigned me the job. This was a mistake.

While Liz loves grammatical rules, I love to stretch them to their breaking point (and often beyond). So today, I’d like you to write your practice in one extremely long, comma-splice-free sentence. I’ll show you:

Comma splices are bad, and you should never use them as Liz has so snarkily shown us, however, if you are, in fact, Cormac McCarthy, and you want to use the comma splice, you still shouldn’t do it because Liz says so, but…

You get the gist, right? Fifteen minutes… go!

PROMPT: Bill and Julie got into an argument at their favorite restaurant.

Comma Splice

About Liz Bureman

Liz Bureman has a more-than-healthy interest in proper grammatical structure, accurate spelling, and the underappreciated semicolon. When she's not diagramming sentences and reading blogs about how terribly written the Twilight series is, she edits for the Write Practice, causes trouble in Denver, and plays guitar very slowly and poorly. You can follow her on Twitter (@epbure), where she tweets more about music of the mid-90s than writing.

  • Isabelle

    Hello,
    I just discovered your blog and I’m already excited about all the information found there. It’s really a nice site!
    Isabelle, Quebec, Canada

  • “Dammit, Bill, your such an asshole,” said Julie as she clanked down her fork into her bowl of lobster bisque, but Bill knew he was, indeed, an asshole, but the fact of his assholeness only made him more angry that she had called him one, to his face, at Pierre de Ponce, and he said so, “Shut the hell up, Julie; you’re ruining my soup,” and she was really because lobster bisque is meant to be enjoyed in silence, and Julie was making loud huffs and using her silverware as drumsticks, and Bill didn’t even know what Julie was mad about besides him being an asshole, but he did know what he wanted to do to her for calling him one: hit her, but since that wasn’t an option if he wanted to come back to Pierre de Ponce, he wanted to get up and leave, but the lobster bisque and the coque au vin on its way was too good to abandon, and so he stayed and took it, even though her noisiness ruined the delicate butteriness of his bisque, and even though people were starting to stare at his little Irish noisemaker, and what was this fight even about, really, but he didn’t think of that too long: the soup was too good, and really, it was more than soup; it was dew drops of heaven; there was the cleanse which he took twice a year to clean out his bowels, but this bisque was like a soul cleanse; it was his heroin, but Julie had to ruin it, just like she ruined everything, but with the bisque in his belly, he figured he would be magnanimous, and so he said, “I’m sorry I said, ‘Shut the hell up, Julie;’ that was wrong of me, but I really wish you and I could get along for this meal at least because after all, it is our favorite restaurant,” and he took another slurp of lobster bisque as a reward for his kindness, but Julie raised her arm and slapped her spoon down on the bowl so hard the bowl cracked, and lobster bisque poured out all over the table, and the whole restaurant looked over at Julie who was now as creamy red as her spoiled bisque, and she said, “Get along; you want me to get along with you after you just told me you wanted to get a divorce,” and he realized she was right; he had said that, but the lobster bisque was so good he had forgotten.

    • Mark Almand

      Love the restraint of this comment, Joe, you withhold the proof of Bill’s uttter AHness until the very end, in my opinion it works because of that and the hypercommas, the latter give it a disorganized and yet it-has-momentum feeling like the AH’s brain itself, as a reader you think, Bill will never change, just look at all these commas, who could ever change such an AH, I’m out of here and Julie should be too.

      • That’s great feedback Mark. Thank you.

        Obviously, you want to have protagonists who can change. So he could never be a main character. But he might be a good villain.

        • Mark Almand

          Never thought of that! Great point.

    • gahhhh “you’re” not “your” (1st line)!

      • *You’re* absolutely right. *You’re *so smart. Where would I be without *your *wisdom?

        🙂

  • Isabelle

    Hello,
    I just discovered your blog and I’m already excited about all the information found there. It’s really a nice site!
    Isabelle, Quebec, Canada

  • “Dammit, Bill, your such an asshole,” said Julie as she clanked down her fork into her bowl of lobster bisque, but Bill knew he was, indeed, an asshole, but the fact of his assholeness only made him more angry that she had called him one, to his face, at Pierre de Ponce, and he said so, “Shut the hell up, Julie; you’re ruining my soup,” and she was really because lobster bisque is meant to be enjoyed in silence, and Julie was making loud huffs and using her silverware as drumsticks, and Bill didn’t even know what Julie was mad about besides him being an asshole, but he did know what he wanted to do to her for calling him one: hit her, but since that wasn’t an option if he wanted to come back to Pierre de Ponce, he wanted to get up and leave, but the lobster bisque and the coque au vin on its way was too good to abandon, and so he stayed and took it, even though her noisiness ruined the delicate butteriness of his bisque, and even though people were starting to stare at his little Irish noisemaker, and what was this fight even about, really, but he didn’t think of that too long: the soup was too good, and really, it was more than soup; it was dew drops of heaven; there was the cleanse which he took twice a year to clean out his bowels, but this bisque was like a soul cleanse; it was his heroin, but Julie had to ruin it, just like she ruined everything, but with the bisque in his belly, he figured he would be magnanimous, and so he said, “I’m sorry I said, ‘Shut the hell up, Julie;’ that was wrong of me, but I really wish you and I could get along for this meal at least because after all, it is our favorite restaurant,” and he took another slurp of lobster bisque as a reward for his kindness, but Julie raised her arm and slapped her spoon down on the bowl so hard the bowl cracked, and lobster bisque poured out all over the table, and the whole restaurant looked over at Julie who was now as creamy red as her spoiled bisque, and she said, “Get along; you want me to get along with you after you just told me you wanted to get a divorce,” and he realized she was right; he had said that, but the lobster bisque was so good he had forgotten.

    • Mark Almand

      Love the restraint of this comment, Joe, you withhold the proof of Bill’s uttter AHness until the very end, in my opinion it works because of that and the hypercommas, the latter give it a disorganized and yet it-has-momentum feeling like the AH’s brain itself, as a reader you think, Bill will never change, just look at all these commas, who could ever change such an AH, I’m out of here and Julie should be too.

      • That’s great feedback Mark. Thank you.

        Obviously, you want to have protagonists who can change. So he could never be a main character. But he might be a good villain.

        • Mark Almand

          Never thought of that! Great point.

    • gahhhh “you’re” not “your” (1st line)!

      • *You’re* absolutely right. *You’re *so smart. Where would I be without *your *wisdom?

        🙂

  • Isabelle

    It’s funny! My Bill is an asshole too!!! I dont show my text because it is in French but I can say that I had fun to writing it. (Excuse my poor English)

    • That IS funny. Dude you must post it! It would be an honor to have a French comment.

    • I’ll read and comment back in French if you post it! 🙂

  • Isabelle

    It’s funny! My Bill is an asshole too!!! I dont show my text because it is in French but I can say that I had fun to writing it. (Excuse my poor English)

    • That IS funny. Dude you must post it! It would be an honor to have a French comment.

    • I’ll read and comment back in French if you post it! 🙂

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  • Dmharris

    Joe, isn’t it ‘you’re such an asshole’ rather then ‘your such an asshole’?

    Sidebar, when I say that to my darling husband, he responds, “yes, but I’m your asshole!” Ahh love!

    • You’RE just like youR lovely daughter, Mrs. B. Thank you for the correction, and for the next fifty because I’m always going to make that mistake.

      I love that. I said something similar to Talia recently. It didn’t go as well. I need to work on my delivery.

  • Dmharris

    Joe, isn’t it ‘you’re such an asshole’ rather then ‘your such an asshole’?

    Sidebar, when I say that to my darling husband, he responds, “yes, but I’m your asshole!” Ahh love!

    • You’RE just like youR lovely daughter, Mrs. B. Thank you for the correction, and for the next fifty because I’m always going to make that mistake.

      I love that. I said something similar to Talia recently. It didn’t go as well. I need to work on my delivery.

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  • Thanks for this post Liz.

    My Grammar is horrendous and is one of my big aims for 2012. My MS is with one of my friends ( a fellow Grammar Freak) and she’s going to copyedit my first chapter. I’m hoping i pick up some good tips to take to the rest of the story

    Just a quick question on comma splices. Are these something to avoid ALWAYS or are they ok to use from time to time. Without looking at my story i do feel i use these A LOT 🙁

    Matt (Turndog Millionaire)

    • epbure

      Yay grammar goals! I always support that.

      Also, comma splices are definitely something to avoid. Always always always. As an editor, comma splices drive me nuts. Although there is always something to be said for allowing creativity to flow, I have no patience for them, and the same can be said for many readers. Sometimes they can be forgiven, but you really have to have an excellent grasp on your prose and your characters before you even think about venturing into this abyss.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for this post Liz.

    My Grammar is horrendous and is one of my big aims for 2012. My MS is with one of my friends ( a fellow Grammar Freak) and she’s going to copyedit my first chapter. I’m hoping i pick up some good tips to take to the rest of the story

    Just a quick question on comma splices. Are these something to avoid ALWAYS or are they ok to use from time to time. Without looking at my story i do feel i use these A LOT 🙁

    Matt (Turndog Millionaire)

    • Yay grammar goals! I always support that.

      Also, comma splices are definitely something to avoid. Always always always. As an editor, comma splices drive me nuts. Although there is always something to be said for allowing creativity to flow, I have no patience for them, and the same can be said for many readers. Sometimes they can be forgiven, but you really have to have an excellent grasp on your prose and your characters before you even think about venturing into this abyss.

  • Oh, oh, I absolutely HATE comma splices. I have friends who seem to be desperately in love with their commas, and it angers me when they ask me to edit their work.

  • Oh, oh, I absolutely HATE comma splices. I have friends who seem to be desperately in love with their commas, and it angers me when they ask me to edit their work.

  • This has to be the craziest practice that this site has given, but since I don’t like comma splices, and it seems like fun, and I also love crazy things, I’m trying it out, though I’m not absolutely sure this sentence is correct.

  • This has to be the craziest practice that this site has given, but since I don’t like comma splices, and it seems like fun, and I also love crazy things, I’m trying it out, though I’m not absolutely sure this sentence is correct.

  • Mariaanne

    whew!

    She sat in an old wing chair, the one with the ball and claw feet, the one that was upholstered in red with gold fleur-de-lis, as she unravelled an intricately crocheted doily, a doily that her daughter had found at the estate liquidators; and, as she undid the doily, unbent the twists and loops that held it together in one design, she thought about her life: it had been fairly fruitful resulting in two children, a son and a daughter, a career as a teacher, a collection of watercolor landscapes, and another of portraits painted in oils; but Celia felt that she needed more, and was perplexed about what the more that she wanted consisted of: was it more money that she wanted, more accomplishments, more acknowledgements or more love, and so she thought about all of this as she sat taking the doily apart in complete silence no TV no radio, no company, just the twists and turns, the bends and wrappings of the strings that constituted the doily, the fancy crocheted Victorian doily.

    • I really liked this, Marianne. And it seemed like you did an excellent job of creating one long, comma-splice-less piece. Not sure about this part though, “in complete silence no TV no radio, no company….” You might need a colon there.

      • Xenia Rose

        I was thinking about the same passage, except I was wondering if they needed commas, like a list? I really liked the passage. I want her to find out why she isn’t happy.

  • Anonymous

    whew!

    She sat in an old wing chair, the one with the ball and claw feet, the one that was upholstered in red with gold fleur-de-lis, as she unravelled an intricately crocheted doily, a doily that her daughter had found at the estate liquidators; and, as she undid the doily, unbent the twists and loops that held it together in one design, she thought about her life: it had been fairly fruitful resulting in two children, a son and a daughter, a career as a teacher, a collection of watercolor landscapes, and another of portraits painted in oils; but Celia felt that she needed more, and was perplexed about what the more that she wanted consisted of: was it more money that she wanted, more accomplishments, more acknowledgements or more love, and so she thought about all of this as she sat taking the doily apart in complete silence no TV no radio, no company, just the twists and turns, the bends and wrappings of the strings that constituted the doily, the fancy crocheted Victorian doily.

    • I really liked this, Marianne. And it seemed like you did an excellent job of creating one long, comma-splice-less piece. Not sure about this part though, “in complete silence no TV no radio, no company….” You might need a colon there.

  • Oh dear, I’m afraid I’m a repeat offender! I plead the 5th.

    • Unfortunately, you just confessed. You’re going to grammar jail.

  • Oh dear, I’m afraid I’m a repeat offender! I plead the 5th.

    • Unfortunately, you just confessed. You’re going to grammar jail.

  • Could you not also change the verb tense in the second clause to transform the comma splice into an acceptable comma, or would that only reinstate another comma splice?

    • Can you include what you mean here, Josh? I’m not sure I understand.

  • Could you not also change the verb tense in the second clause to transform the comma splice into an acceptable comma, or would that only reinstate another comma splice?

    • Can you include what you mean here, Josh? I’m not sure I understand.

  • Pete Davis

    Hmm, sorry to disagree, but has anyone looked at twitter recently? People are using less words to communicate. Not more. Sometimes they’re not even using the complete words. Just letters and symbols and guess what? They’re communicating just fine and it’s huge. I’m not saying it’s what is best for the language, but it is what is happening. Frankly, I do not see the problem, a comma splice saves time and I understand the train of thought anyway, it does not seem awkward at all. This goes for books as well, I will not miss an extra ‘and’ or ‘as’. This article seems like just another purveyor of old school publishing that is being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. This train has left the station.

    • Key phrase, “I’m not saying it’s what is best for the language.”

      I hear you, Pete. The language evolves, whether we like it or not. However, no book written in Twitter-speak is going to win a Pulitzer any time soon. We’re interested in better writing, not merely meeting the lowest common denominator.

      • Morgan Pryce

        Just to add my two cents – I think that Twitter can actually be excellent practise for highly con-/precise use of language. Just try to use “Twitterspeak”/symbols and STILL manage the core of a complex thought out…

        • Morgan Pryce

          * gaaah…! Of course I meant to say “try NOT to use…”

  • Pete Davis

    Hmm, sorry to disagree, but has anyone looked at twitter recently? People are using less words to communicate. Not more. Sometimes they’re not even using the complete words. Just letters and symbols and guess what? They’re communicating just fine and it’s huge. I’m not saying it’s what is best for the language, but it is what is happening. Frankly, I do not see the problem, a comma splice saves time and I understand the train of thought anyway, it does not seem awkward at all. This goes for books as well, I will not miss an extra ‘and’ or ‘as’. This article seems like just another purveyor of old school publishing that is being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. This train has left the station.

    • Key phrase, “I’m not saying it’s what is best for the language.”

      I hear you, Pete. The language evolves, whether we like it or not. However, no book written in Twitter-speak is going to win a Pulitzer any time soon. We’re interested in better writing, not merely meeting the lowest common denominator.

      • Morgan Pryce

        Just to add my two cents – I think that Twitter can actually be excellent practise for highly con-/precise use of language. Just try to use “Twitterspeak”/symbols and STILL manage the core of a complex thought out…

        • Morgan Pryce

          * gaaah…! Of course I meant to say “try NOT to use…”

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  • J Marcullus

    Pete, I totally disagree with you. When I read credible works, there is rarely anything that irritates me more than a comma splice. Twitter and Facebook—I don’t use the pair—cannot be compared with writing a good old-fashioned sentence for a book.

  • J Marcullus

    Pete, I totally disagree with you. When I read credible works, there is rarely anything that irritates me more than a comma splice. Twitter and Facebook—I don’t use the pair—cannot be compared with writing a good old-fashioned sentence for a book.

  • This was a really fun practice! Thanks! 

  • Yalí Noriega

    This was a really fun practice! Thanks! 

  • Clairelily2001

    I’ve often thought about commas and comma splices as I feel
    about commas as many people do (and should) about adverbs so when I begin a
    first edit of a draft I go through the manuscript and delete as many commas as
    possible and turn most of the complex sentences into simple sentences or,
    occasionally, add a conjunction here and there just to show I’m not entirely
    complex-sentence phobic.

     

  • Clairelily2001

    I’ve often thought about commas and comma splices as I feel
    about commas as many people do (and should) about adverbs so when I begin a
    first edit of a draft I go through the manuscript and delete as many commas as
    possible and turn most of the complex sentences into simple sentences or,
    occasionally, add a conjunction here and there just to show I’m not entirely
    complex-sentence phobic.

     

  • dawood

    Hi everyone. I’m dawood . I wanna write abou my self .I hope from you gide me how can I write .I wanna write about my study aspirations, hobbies.work experience and state my real life. please help me from where Can I start. formal way

    • Hi Dawood. The best way to get started is to subscribe to the blog and follow along with our daily practices. Good luck!

  • dawood

    Hi everyone. I’m dawood . I wanna write abou my self .I hope from you gide me how can I write .I wanna write about my study aspirations, hobbies.work experience and state my real life. please help me from where Can I start. formal way

    • Hi Dawood. The best way to get started is to subscribe to the blog and follow along with our daily practices. Good luck!

  • Denice Sharpe

    Julie’s arm swung across the table with such force she hit everything in its path while flipping the chair she was sitting in backwards in one angry motion.
    “How could you even think about such a thing?” Julie shouted at Bill as she grabbed her Vera Bradley quilted backpack and glared at any onlookers that dared to glimpse in her direction.
    “I forgot”, was what escaped from Bill’s meek and cowardly response.
    Julie stormed out of the diner without any remorse or second thoughts about the scene she had just been completely inappropriate and apart of. Before breaching the doorway she made a final attempt to catch Bill’s eye before she left.
    “Don’t ever forget again,” Julie seethed, and slammed the chrome railed door behind her.
    Bill’s head laid heavy in both of his impeccably groomed hands as he mumbled into them utterly defeated and full of remorse.
    “No cream in her coffee and no butter on her toast. No cream in her coffee and no butter on her toast.”

  • Denice Sharpe

    Julie’s arm swung across the table with such force she hit everything in its path while flipping the chair she was sitting in backwards in one angry motion.
    “How could you even think about such a thing?” Julie shouted at Bill as she grabbed her Vera Bradley quilted backpack and glared at any onlookers that dared to glimpse in her direction.
    “I forgot”, was what escaped from Bill’s meek and cowardly response.
    Julie stormed out of the diner without any remorse or second thoughts about the scene she had just been completely inappropriate and apart of. Before breaching the doorway she made a final attempt to catch Bill’s eye before she left.
    “Don’t ever forget again,” Julie seethed, and slammed the chrome railed door behind her.
    Bill’s head laid heavy in both of his impeccably groomed hands as he mumbled into them utterly defeated and full of remorse.
    “No cream in her coffee and no butter on her toast. No cream in her coffee and no butter on her toast.”

  • The way that Julie was looking at Bill across the table, it was a delightful table complete with Julie’s favourite flowers and Bill’s favourite wine, and the way that Bill was not looking at Julie across the table, he was as a matter of fact looking at the young waitress bending over and was unaware he’d been caught looking at said young waitress by Julie, suggested it may have been the couple’s favourite restaurant but it was not going to be their favourite night out.

  • The way that Julie was looking at Bill across the table, it was a delightful table complete with Julie’s favourite flowers and Bill’s favourite wine, and the way that Bill was not looking at Julie across the table, he was as a matter of fact looking at the young waitress bending over and was unaware he’d been caught looking at said young waitress by Julie, suggested it may have been the couple’s favourite restaurant but it was not going to be their favourite night out.

  • Maneeha

    It was certainly a bad chocolate souffle, flavouring their bitter arguments. There could be only one reason Bill would bring the two of them to this restaurant; he won’t be able to make it to their twentieth wedding anniversary. Again. The first few times it had worked but she was most certainly not going to fall for it this time.

    The undercooked souffle had done a good job of aggravating her angst, and her anger was justified; every year she would go through so much trouble to make the day they began their lives to gether so special, and every time he would disappoint her by failing to grace the occasion with his presence. This was definitely something she was going to hold against him well past the day he would die, but now it seemed she was going to have no more of it.

    She lstood up, and stomping fiercely on the parquet floor, left him and the half-eaten chocolate souffle right there on the table.

    The next day Bill recieved something surprising from his wife in mail. He prized open the envelope, hoping it would be apology letter. He gingerly fished out content and saw, to his chagrin and great surprise, that they were annulment papers.

  • Maneeha

    It was certainly a bad chocolate souffle, flavouring their bitter arguments. There could be only one reason Bill would bring the two of them to this restaurant; he won’t be able to make it to their twentieth wedding anniversary. Again. The first few times it had worked but she was most certainly not going to fall for it this time.

    The undercooked souffle had done a good job of aggravating her angst, and her anger was justified; every year she would go through so much trouble to make the day they began their lives to gether so special, and every time he would disappoint her by failing to grace the occasion with his presence. This was definitely something she was going to hold against him well past the day he would die, but now it seemed she was going to have no more of it.

    She lstood up, and stomping fiercely on the parquet floor, left him and the half-eaten chocolate souffle right there on the table.

    The next day Bill recieved something surprising from his wife in mail. He prized open the envelope, hoping it would be apology letter. He gingerly fished out content and saw, to his chagrin and great surprise, that they were annulment papers.

  • Radhika Narasimhan

    It is Julie’s birthday. Bill wanted to surprise her. So from morning he has been avoiding her,waiting to give a surprise. When Julie went in search of him with an expectant face bill was in the bathroom. When Julie returned after 10mts he was on a call. When Julie came, to the room after half an hour he was bathing. Julie started feeling, bill was behaving odd. She felt hurt.

    Bill tip toed to the dining room, drank his juice,and before Julie could turn, he left for office. Expectant Julie started having tears in her yes. He didn’t call her form office. This is her first birthday after marriage. After crying she refreshed herself and did her daily job. Then she left out for shopping. She ate lunch by herself and slept.

    At 6 bill came home. He said they would eat out in the restrauant. Julie didn’t answer. The car drive was in silence. After orders were placed Julie asked, “bill you didn’t wish me. This Is my first birthday after marriage. I was waiting for your wish”. “Julie I brought you here to wish you.” “Bill I wanted your wish to be the first not the last. Be what you should have wished.” “Oh Julie in few minutes you will see what I have arranged special for you.” “Thanks for the special treat still, I was hoping to receive your wish in the morning with a hug. You didn’t. It’s okay this time next time please do what I like.” “Oh so you don’t like what I do is it. I take pains to arrange for you and you don’t understand. Still you are blaming me. I shall cancel all. Let’s leave”.

    “Bill don’t run. Listen and understand what I am saying. I am saying your arrangement is good, I am happy still I expected a wish from you in the morning.” After few minutes silence, the cake arrived “happy birthday my love of my life my wife” said Bill and hugged her. Julie smiled from heart and hoped he understood what she said.

    • Troy B

      Bill and Julie get into a huge argument over Nothing. Bill says I want to take you to Hawaii Julie says I hate Hawaii. Bill can’t believe his ears because the water is so warm and time anyway with his girl would be great, especially to have her to himself and away from the kids. But really what he’s thinking is how he can make love to her right in the warm sun in the wonderful salt water behind the reef just off shore while snorkeling together in plain sight but no one can see them behind the reef. Bill has a good plan right, just need to get her onboard. So Bill listens to her million reasons why she’s not interested in Hawaii and all he can think about is how he’s not getting Lei’d in Hawaii. Huge dilemma for Bill, he is thinking no nothing… After being a good listener and repeating back all of Julies objections she suddenly becomes dis-armed and agrees to go. Bill immediate plans the vacation and gets lei’d that night too. Be a good listener and you might get Lei’d too.

  • Ash Wakeman

    I loved this article and completely support your opinions. I am wondering, however, if the following would be a viable alternative to the original spliced sentence:

    “Louis stomped the accelerator into the floor of the car, his pursuer’s headlights shining in his rear-view mirror.”

    • Connor Krammer

      I was wondering the same thing. Would someone mind clarifying whether this is/is not a comma splice?

  • Hunter Llenos

    Bill and Julie were at there favorite restraunt, red lobster, when Julie had ordered the most expensive meal on the menu, the lobster. Bill, who has always been tight with money, was furiated. His blood rushed to his head faster than Einstein could solve two plus two. Julie does this on purpose just to get at Bills nerves. In the middle of Red Lobster was a couple, screaming at the top of their lungs.
    “ You always do this Julie, and you know that you do it on purpose!” Bill said with his fist grounded into the lovely maple. “ well, maybe you should buy me something nice once in awhile!” Bill had had enough. He looked Julie in the eyes with a look of fire. The lovely couple , both giving menacing, animalistic stares. Bill had finally calmed down, took a few breaths.
    He got his wallet out of his right back pocket, and opened the flap revealing all his precious treasure. He pulled a crisp ten dollar bill out of his wallet and gestured his arm towards Julie. After he did all this, he said, “ this is bus money. I suggest you take it.” Bill inched closer so to only whisper in her ear, “ Or you can go back where I picked you up” A whole crowd of lobster lovers were watching all these events play out. Each one of them saw Bill drop the ten on the table and walk out the door a triumphant man who stood for his right to be stingy.
    Julie, mouth as wide as her coach purse, had nothing to say but “ bill please. This cant take me to Paris!” And out she went. The crowd of people waited in silence till the last sound they could hear was the screaming of warn down tires slowly drifting in the distance.

    (sorry i went past the timer, i got into it i guess. i’m still having trouble with grammar, always wanting to learn.)

  • Guest

    As the sun descends over the wide
    horizon, Julie and Billy have decided to go on a dinner in a high-end and
    first-class restaurant. They hastily rushed down the way because their tummies
    are crumbling to death; it was like they haven’t had meal for ages. Forthwith,
    they choose their preferred course of meal as soon as they reached the restaurant,
    but the problem is they were having a little argument whether to take the 4 course
    meal or the 5 course meal. A couple of hours went on, and yet they are still
    arguing until the restaurant closes. Surprisingly,
    while crossing the street, Billy and Julie got hit by a truck. And their lives
    ended with a hungry tummy.

  • Arvin

    As the sun descends over the wide horizon, Julie and Billy have decided to go on a dinner
    in a high-end and first-class restaurant. They hastily rushed down the way
    because their tummies are crumbling to death; it was like they haven’t had meal
    for ages. Forthwith, they choose their preferred course of meal as soon as they
    reached the restaurant, but the problem is they were having a little argument
    whether to take the 3 course meal or the 5 course meal. A couple of hours went
    on, and yet they are still arguing until the restaurant closes. Surprisingly, while crossing the street, Billy
    and Julie got hit by a truck. And their lives ended with a hungry tummy.

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  • Ayman

    Bill sipped water from his glass his eyes lowered; he felt Julie’s gaze upon him every now and then but he looked at the children who were exchanging worried glances back and forth, and then the youngest one, Sam sitting close to his mother nudged her; eat something he said to her but Julie turned away saying she was not hungry and then she stood up flung her brown marie claire bag over her left shoulder and marched to the toilet; go after her his eldet son told his sister but Bill objected,” no leave her be, whenever, whenever we get together to eat, your mother has to find a reason to spoil it.”

  • Helpme

    Today, unlike any other day the sun hide behind the fluffy cotton clouds as the rain poured down softly to the ground, with the birds chirped a fine tune of melody while flying around freely and swiftly roam through the fresh air. On the other hand i was supposed to have class at 8.30am but with sparkling luck by my side the class got cancelled because the lecturer has a meeting with the rector.

    As usual, tons of assignments had been assigned to us; A video assignment from the subject communication theory had to to be done and to be submit a week after the raya festival as the raya festival is on its way to us with the progression of the video is somehow nowhere near the black and white flag.

    So, last night i did a bit part of my job by asking a girl’s number to be our actress for the video assignment. about that girl, my eyes are always on her for the past few weeks with every time i made my way to the cafe my eyes would rolled from left to right; top to bottom searching for her. she has the face of a heritage malaysian women with flawlessly fair skin while her hair is straight to arm-length level, standing around by my ideal height between 5’3 to 5’5. i’m not really sure.

  • tamson

    Amen, Sister.

  • Poesy Child

    Bill and Julie got into an argument at their favorite restaurant and kept fighting over every single thing that you can think about a restaurant all of which they literally wrote on pieces of paper in the form of long lists that included food and beverages, sitting arrangement, lightening, interior, and even the cooking style and chef’s special treat of the day.

  • 1. I have always, always(!), have wrestled with comma splices. There will be one point where I understand and next I don’t.
    2. Often times, this is because I see co many comma splices, or what seem to be comma splices, in published books.

    Like recently I started this book, and on the second page I saw splices and splices. Now I’m wondering if I am right to condemn this writer or weather I just can’t discern the difference between comma splices. And I’m going crazy.

    Here’s an example of the author’s work. Are they really comma splices? Am I going bat crazy? Do I need to see a doctor?

    Example –
    Jame stared down at it from the hilltop, hardly trusting her eyes. It lay well below her, cradled in the curve of foothills as they turned to the southeast. Even from this distance, it looked immense.

    • I feel you! None of these are comma splices because they aren’t complete sentences, though. A comma splice would be if it said, “Jane stared down at it from the hilltop, hardly trusting her eyes, it lay well below her, cradled in the curve of foothills as they turned to the southeast.”

      See how the sentences are now separated by a comma instead of a period? That’s a comma splice and it’s very naughty! 🙂

  • Xenia Rose

    End Of A Marriage

    Bill tried not to fume as he sat in the romantic restaurant
    all alone drinking the special bottle of wine he had chosen for their
    anniversary. Julie was notoriously late. Bill looked into his Riesling and
    searched his memory for a time when Julie had ever been on time. He sighed
    resignedly when he could come up with none.

    There was a burst of cold wind, as the door to the
    restaurant was pulled open, brisk clicking of heels against tile, told him that
    Julie had finally made it. Bill glanced at his Piguet and raised a perfectly
    groomed mahogany brown eyebrow; she was only thirty minutes late. All and all,
    thirty minutes was pretty good for Julie.

    Bill took in the flattering rose silk sheath and perfectly
    matched silk pumps. He noticed that the auburn hair he loved to run his fingers
    through was artistically piled up on her head. She had worn the pearls he had
    given her for their tenth anniversary, the drops swayed slightly at her ears as
    she sat in the chair the maître d pulled out for her. She licked her glossy,
    full lips and prepared to apologize for being late. Bill realized he did not
    want to hear the carefully rehearsed excuse.

    “You are late.” He hissed as he sat the Riesling down hard
    enough it sloshed dangerously close to the rim. “I would think that our
    twentieth anniversary would be a good enough reason to be prompt.”

    Julie pushed a long, slim gold box towards him. “This is the
    reason I was late, which is what I was going to say before you jumped down my
    throat!” She didn’t bother to keep her voice down and several customers turned
    to look. “I had it engraved. They got the year wrong the first time, so I took
    it back. I waited an hour in the store, in the owner’s face, while the engraver
    finished it up.” She poured her own Riesling since her husband didn’t seem
    inclined to do it.

    “You could have called.” Bill hissed.

    “You are not a snake, if you are determined to spoil our
    dinner at least have the guts to do it out loud!” Tears sparkled in her blue
    eyes.

    “I did not spoil the dinner, my dear, you did. You spoiled
    it by not finding it important enough to be prompt.”

    “I found it important. However, just like always when we
    have these fights, I found the marriage more important than the exact time in
    the day when something is set to occur.” Julie whispered and the tears spilled
    over. “You can not let go of your obsession with the little things enough to
    see the big picture.”

    The waiter finally decided to approach the table for the
    order in hopes of quieting a scene.

    “I am sorry. I will not be staying to dine.” Julie said.
    When he walked away, she turned back to Bill, and her eyes sparkling with
    unshed tears. “I will see you this weekend when I come to pick up my
    belongings. I thought I would give us one more chance, see how tonight turned
    out.” She ran her napkin nervously through her hands and then put it back on
    the table. Bill reached over to straighten it out. Julie sighed. “You don’t
    love me anymore, Bill. I do not know if you ever did. I will never be someone
    who is obsessed with time and with the corners of the bed being tucked just
    right. I never was that person.” She stood. “I hope you like your gift. I will
    be at my sister’s if you need me.” She turned and clicked back to the door.

    Bill sipped his Riesling. It really was an excellent year.

    Tanya R. Simon, 2015, All Rights Reserved.

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  • Wow. Something else to fret over that I didn’t previously know existed.

    Isn’t it interesting? All the things writers have to keep track of (or should keep track of), but know little or nothing about.

    It makes a good case for an editor.

    It makes an even better case for a good editor!

  • NerdOfAllTrades

    Bill ordered the ribs in sauce, which was one of his favourite meals at this restaurant, only to be informed by the waiter that they no longer served ribs, due to the rising cost of meat, as well as the immigration of Muslim and Jewish people to this area, starting several years ago, when the tourism bureau and local businesses decided to promote this area as a multicultural hub, which Bill would have appreciated if he weren’t so hungry for ribs, but, right now, he just wanted to eat, so he decided, despite Jill’s arguments not to, to speak to the manager and give him a piece of his mind, since he thought that it must be fairly easy to keep such a simple item as ribs on the menu; everyone serves ribs: even Applebee’s serves ribs, and they don’t serve much else in the way of good food, and Bill just wanted the manager to explain to him why he should keep giving his loyalty to this restaurant when it didn’t even measure up to the Applebee’s right across the street, and, having reached his very last straw, today being a particularly bad day at work, where he had been berated by his boss for not finishing a project according to the specifications, when he knew, and had been telling his boss all along, that the specifications were impossible, but, of course, his boss had ignored him, and Bill was still being ignored, and treated with derision, even though he had gotten the application as close to the specifications as humanly possible, without somehow acquiring technology from fifteen years in the future, and now all he wanted, after this never-ending struggle against his boss, was some damned ribs, so why couldn’t the restaurant understand such a thing: that was what he wanted to know, since his boss couldn’t understand him, and they couldn’t understand him, and now even his girlfriend was looking at him with an increasing level of shock, since his rant was drawing the attention of all of the people in the restaurant, and while the manager was trying to make soothing reassurances, he still wasn’t hearing anything that would indicate he’d be getting some ribs, so he kept arguing, until finally Jill let loose a cry of exasperation, and started towards the door, with Bill racing after her, crying, “What’s wrong,” to which Jill replied, “I can’t take any more of this from you, because while you clearly know that there’s no pork at all in this restaurant, you still keep berating the restaurant owner, who clearly can’t do anything for you,” and slammed the restaurant door, at least, as much as it is possible to slam a restaurant door, since they are on cushioned hinges, in Bill’s face, leaving him there to contemplate how everything in his life was going wrong: he was losing his girlfriend, his sanity, his enjoyment of work, and he couldn’t even get a good set of ribs, at which point he remembered that he had been speaking to the manager, who was now walking away from the phone, telling him that Bill was causing a disturbance, and had better leave before the police arrived, or there would be trouble, which was ridiculous; he hadn’t been causing a disturbance, he just wanted the manager to acknowledge that they were wrong about discontinuing ribs from the menu, and they would make it up to him in some fashion, perhaps by going to the store and getting him some ribs: was that truly so much to ask, he thought to himself, as the sirens began to wail, and before he could even get his thoughts straight, he was being led away in handcuffs.
    ————————————————————–
    Truth be told, this wasn’t particularly good practice for me: comma splices are something that I can generally avoid: soul-breakingly endless sentences are my bread and butter, and a habit that I am trying to break. Still fun, though.

    • Haha! This was such a fun read. I’m sure it was fun to write. Glad we helped you keep your bread buttered! 😉

  • I didn’t know the first thing about a comma splice, so thank you for the revelation. I know I have some in my manuscripts! And Joe Bunting, you’re a genius for this practice! Here goes:
    If bill had thought that today’s meal would be a peaceful one, he was mistaken, and more tragically, he was in for something for which he was unprepared, for julie had not
    forgotten last weeks events, or more specifically, the piercing words he had thrust out at her with little care of her own feelings, and only for his own interests, of which he hadn’t failed to consider, and Julie, his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend if she had her way, had known him for five years,which would surely end tonight, and she sat there, fingering her napkin, sitting at her table, watching the doorway as bill came in, handsome as always, and he scanned the room until he laid eyes on her, with an intent stare that showed through him; with his eyes he searched her, and seemed to be pleading, even begging her for the forgiveness he didn’t deserve, and as they both remained motionless, the one question plaguing her mind, which was whether she should forgive him, slowly a smile spread to her lips, for she knew she could not live without him.

    Please let me know if I made any mistakes. I don’t know how I got myself into this! 🙂

    • Haha what a great/horribly-full-of-comma-splices practice, Reagan! You owned it. 🙂

      • Lol…going for a laugh!

  • Jessica Cardinal Heeg

    Whoa…I’ve totally been using those like some kind of witch doctor! I’ll apologize to the world!

    Well, I’m grateful that I stumbled on this blog post because I honestly didn’t know I was misusing commas. Grammar was never my strong point. I’m not bad, but I’m not great. Now excuse me while I call my editor and apologize….

    • Haha witch doctor’s are the worst. We actually get a lot of spam comments from witch doctors, and let me tell you, they are RIFE with comma splices.

      • Jessica Cardinal Heeg

        Yes, I believe it. “Conjunction junction, what’s your function?” Answer: Keep your editor from hating you. 😉

  • Sandra Nachlinger

    I’ve seen this so much in recent books that I thought it had become acceptable! Thank you for letting me know that it’s still not okay.

    • Which books, Sandra? And yes, it’s still not okay!

  • Gary G Little

    Closer and closer Hermes I drifted towards the frozen object in the forward view port. The trip had taken years, at least two gravity assists from Jupiter and one from Saturn, but there she was growing larger by the minute, Aleph 1442. The last assist from Saturn had been used to boost their orbit above the plane of the ecliptic so the Hermes could view a cometary object from above. Most scientist declared it extravagant and a waste of time and effort, but Dr. Charles George had insisted that this radical maneuver would permit studies not possible from the ecliptic.

    Now just minutes away, he would be the first scientist to see a cometary body from above. In fascination he was glued to his instruments, refusing food and only taking water when the captain had insisted. In bewilderment, he realized the readings he was seeing were not following the predicted path. They seem to be double, but how could that be? He had to get to the bubble, the clear dome in the bow of the Hermes I. He flung himself into the observatory and starred transfixed. Of course, there was the blue tail, but there just slightly offset was a second blue tail. There, there was a primary white tail and just offset was a second white tail. Everything was duplicated. This was not Aleph 1442, it was Aleph Alpha & Beta 1442.

    “Oh my god,” Dr. George said. “It’s a comet splice!”

  • Gary G Little

    I must say, after diligently avoiding the evil spliced comma, deliberately attempting to write the splices of commas is not easily done.

  • Thomas Furmato

    I understood the message in the comma-spliced example that Liz used in her example about Louis and his pursuers, so I don’t see what is so bad about splicing things together with commas, especially if the ideas are clear, understandable, and all work together as our mind usually does.

    What I’d like to know is why do the comments in this lesson looked spliced with comments from 3 years ago?

  • LilianGardner

    I don’t like using comma splices and so I’m glad that advise us not to use it.
    I’ve attempted to write a comma splice free sentence from your suggested prompt.

    Bill and Jenny followed the waiter to the table reserved for them in the spacious dining hall of their favourite restuarant, and when the waiter left, Bill drew Jenny’s chair out from under the table and slipped it back under when she settled, but he wondered why she frowned as she viewed the menu so he asked her if she would like to order their favourite food but she shook her head and said she’d like to be the first to try the chef’s special dish to celebrate July 4th: incase they decided to dine elsewhere for the occasion..

  • Colleen Risdahl-Hamilton

    OK… Bill and Julie get into an argument at a restaurant: take 1!
    **********************
    Bill rounded the corner to the restaurant a half hour after he was supposed to be there, with his excuses ready to go: I got caught up on a conference call; traffic was lousy; I had to stop for gas; and (his all-time favorite), I stopped to buy flowers but the florist closed early, which had worked very nicely in past, but on seeing Julie’s expression as he entered the restaurant, he decided that perhaps this was not one he should try as it failed miserably the last time he showed up late…which reminded him that he’d actually meant to stop for flowers, knowing that would have at least given him SOME leverage; especially now, when one glance at his wife of 17 years told him all he needed to know – she was not in the least impressed and would be having none of his excuses, no matter how craftily and sincerely he delivered a funny anecdote or way out there, “truth-is-stranger-than-fiction” tales of woe to get her sympathy and avoid a fight, which, he acknowledged to himself, it’s probably too late for because I can tell by looking at her that she is furious with him; his stomach flips as the dark thought occurs that it’s almost as though she knows that I was with my secretary, that it feels like she’s looking right through me – yikes, what to do, this is not going to go well, he thinks to himself as he ponders his choices and realizes (as he takes his time ceremoniously hanging his coat and stowing his umbrella) that once, just this once in their lives, maybe – just maybe, he should consider an alternate approach, one of simply being straight up and NOT (for once in their 17 years) offering some wild excuse, that perhaps all of these years he’d genuinely been taking her for a complete idiot, but looking at her now, she’s clearly not an idiot, in fact she is, always has been and always will be the only woman he has every truly loved; in a single moment of clarity, he resolves to do better, try harder, come clean and be the man she thought she’d married…”I’m sorry I’m late, Darling,” says Bill as he bends to kiss Julie…she is silent, and then, with her words barely audible as her breath tumbles out, he must strain to hear her as she rises to leave, turning to him to say simply, “Bill, you forgot to wipe her lipstick off…”, and then, she is gone.

    Wow – that is really quite hard to do! Fun though!

  • onemore4gsus

    It was a dark but not stormy night. The ketchup bottle stood between them. The juiciest steaks had just been served on oversized plates with greasy, hot fries. This location might not have been the best choice for a food critic and her blind date. Would he smother the steak in ketchup? Would he coat it with salt before tasting it? She said a silent prayer that Joe would be *the* one, that he would taste the steak first, and then comment on it’s lack or excellence, adjusting afterward. Should she move the ketchup bottle out of reach to avoid the conflict, or would it be best to know from the start if he were not the match for her. She took a deep breath and focused on her own plate. She cut into the steak to test the doneness, and it was not too red but just right. She tasted a morsel from the corner, and it was exquisite. What do you think Joe did next?

    • Gary G Little

      Poor Joe is vegan and a Budhist, what do you think he did? I think he stripped to his G-string, folded his legs in to the lotus position, and began chanting “Om mani padme umm.”

  • Dave Skinner

    In there book, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers (p 103) Renni Browne and Dave King make this point while discussing making dialogue sound good: ,’… the two sentences are strung together with a comma instead of the (grammatically correct) period. If not overused, this technique captures the rhythms of real speech remarkable well.’ It is dangerous to speak in absolutes.

  • Doug

    Yay! A writing illness from which I do NOT suffer! I knew there had to be one! If you really feel the sentence needs two distinct thoughts, the semicolon is your friend!

  • Nancy Werner

    Isn’t that a comma splice before “however”?

  • nancy

    In the correction of your initial example, you used “as” as a subordinate conjunction. I have been told never to do that. I have been in writing groups where the “as” problem is the only issue someone pointed out. Don’t know why. What have you heard?

  • sahotasingh@yahoo.com

    Ta-Da!
    I was watching TV, mom came and turned off the TV and said to back to your room, room where mom just made a mess so I don’t get back to her soon, cleaning my room made me find my lost items my soccer ball, old high school pictures, and etc, I found papers where teacher wrote “Fix your grammar”, made me go back and study all the rules of English.

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  • Laurie Swenson

    Fun read. “How to Make Your Editor Hate You, Splice Your Commas” is fine if using AP style for headlines and drop the “and.” Not sure if a billboard qualifies as a headline (and “so” and “do” should be capitalized), but the phrase would be better all around with an “and.”

  • WritingBoy

    Just what in God’s name are school teachers and parents supposed doing with kids growing up?!

    Oh, yes…sorry; iPads, ‘smart’-phones, TV, computers, social media.

    So sorry about that. I forgot we need to put as much Sierra, Hotel, India, Tango in their brains as humanly possible before they get to 8 years old.

    Welcome to The Land of Stupid!!!

  • Cauê Moraes

    Jenna licked coffee cream off her lips that way always makes Karl lick his too, and she did do it lipstick-smudging-free; indeed, it was high labial skill as told in ancient blogging legends; no wonder she is a TEDx speaker; yet there was no hint of fascination in Karl’s face; after all, he was a professional fantasy writer, and not this kind of fantasy; besides, Jenna has been his coworker for several years of blogging projects; even so, he must have showed something because Jenna beamed delightfully and then whispered ”you’re late”, rested her chin on both hands, and added ”as usual” with a giggle; but Karl could only reply a smiley ”lots of work” and ask for bacon; ”how are going your TEDx Talk about comma splices?” he asked after the waitress was gone, and the answer came as a pornographic hiss of words – ”pretty well”; then, Jenna bend her bottom lip aside and bit it doing a wet smack; gripping honeydew eyes stared as he tried to articulate ”you know there is no comma splices; otherwise I would have heard of it”, but it was hard because she didn’t stop gazing a single sec; not even when Jenna gave a smoothly twist in her body making Karl realize her legs were crossed underneath the table; likewise, the feeling that she was probably wearing miniskirt – as usual – made him uneasy; ”so you think I live in a fantasy world” she blew blandly, ”or else it is you who don’t wanna follow the rules”; then Karl got a panic attack – as usual when pretty women push him too far, and – as usual – he tried to hide it with nervous laughs and meaningless monologues such as ”I’m the god of writing and and I do wherever I want!”; she let out a nearly orgasmic gasp and left the fleshy, glossy lips ajar in a very suggestive manner; then her phone rang; ”TEDx Talk in 30 minutes” she whispered, ”Your Divinity.”

  • Torda Balázs

    When we heard the shots at the restaurant, no one knew at first where to turn their heads, so everyone were looking around helplessly, as the shooters started to shape up, and when I say to shape up, I mean they begun to take shape in a way that nobody ever saw before, at least those who had never been abducted by semi-luminous alien spiders, so they were there embracing light, getting sturdier and sturdier by the second, but there was one little element that nobody foresaw, namely that the bullets were about to do the same; because at the very instant when everybody started to get a grip on the facts suggesting that translucent half-shaped creatures could not possibly hurt anyone due to their barely co-existing with our reality, the bullets started to get real together with the creatures, and if it was not enough, they smelt like a sewer full of angrily pushed out chicken wings mixed with rotting colonel bones, at which point I have to avoid the colon joke and also try to refrain myself from describing a trading of jabs with my self-conscious subconscious who is really insistent on our duty prompted by this beautiful task to deter from the path the so-called Id envisaged, i.e. writing from the perspective of the omniscient narrator about a robbery at a restaurant in a rural area somewhere maybe in Scotland committed by beings whose place surely would be in the X-files, or to put it more precisely, inside the X-files eating away every bit of information that the lazy eyes of government officials who always fail to pry long enough to recognize this simplest of things that everything is top secret.

  • Andriana

    This argument was one of the worst they had gotten into in quiet awhile; in fact, he was having difficulty remembering the last time they had fought. As he looked at his wife he realized that their fight was nothing but a single drop in the bucket of their lives and as he looked at her red face, puckered lips, and furrowed brow he started to laugh.

    “W-what’s so damn funny?” she said furiously, she huffed laying her fork down onto the table as her voice became a bit shriller.

    “I-I’m sorry,” he said wiping the tears from his eyes, “I just realized that this argument is ridiculous.”

    She looked at him incredulously, “What is that supposed to mean? Of course it’s important.”

    Bill stood up and pushed his chair in and make his way around the table, kneeling beside her. “Julie, it’s not important, the only thing that is important to me is that we are together. I really don’t care where we live as long as we are together, what difference does it make.”

    Julie blushed as Bill took her hand, “Please get off the floor, we are in a public place. You are embarrassing me.” She kissed him lightly and he returned to his seat.

    Bill smiled widely as he looked at her lovingly ignoring the eyes around him. Julie rolled her eyes and smiled down at her meal “You always do this, you can’t just laugh and make this go away, we were in the middle of an important life conversation.”

  • I’ve just been teaching my ESL students about comma splices. Their eyes are widening saying, ‘Why didn’t anyone mention this before now?’

  • Theo Volschenk

    I’m a bit late to the party (more than a thousand days by the looks of it!), but here goes:

    Bill and Julie got into an argument at their favorite restaurant right before the Big Scare broke out in the sleepy town, leaving the likes of Bradley, who walked through the dust-covered doors of the deserted bar (not caring that he might be the only one in the town left after the scare), moving to seat himself to the one reaming bar stool not on its side on the floor, but he was careful to rest his elbows on the patches of wood not spilled with beer, napkins, snot, blood, and any other paraphernalia while reaching over from the customer’s side to the serving side, the reason being that he still felt that pang of consciousness ringing in his ears even though he knew deep down it was a bit silly that Sergeant Coffey, the lone ranger of the empty town and the hall monitor most of his young adult life, might be dead with the rest of them and the drunk reassured himself that if the crisis was real the boys in blue wouldn’t mind one bit about a loner, caked in shit and syphilis, tapping out the warm keg that Don from Don’s Tavern left unsecured, knowing full well that the likes of Bradley roamed the streets (and knowing full well that the like would pop in for a quick snatch if carelessly left unattended, thank you very much!) and wouldn’t waste an opportunity to clean out the joint if, and only if, his life dependent on it and of course, since his angel and monkey arm wrestled it out on his sun-burnt shoulders for the destiny of his soul, most of these thoughts left his mind as the polish wood slipped into his calloused hands with all of the dignity of a payday whore and spewing out war foam and beer like an old man’s urine seeping between his calloused fingers as he cupped and delivered the last, well, deliverance he could find in the deserted town.

    Please let me know if I achieved or missed the brief. I’d like to get the filthy habit out my system.

    And if the comment section is as deserted as the sentence above, let me reassure you that the beer, granted a bit warm by now, is still good to go and I’d like you to join me on this settler…

  • Carlz Santiago

    Claire walked past a store, but as she glanced at the store’s window, she saw a blue, frilly dress; at first, she didn’t want it, and wanted to look away, but later, she realized that her eyes were glued to the window and were staring at it, so, she walked into the store and went for a hunt – a dress hunt; after moments of searching, she finally found the dress; however, when she looked at the price tag, her face was drained of life, but thinking of the allowance she received last month gave her a glimmer of hope, so, she took her wallet from her pocket, but when she opened it, there was a bulk of cash as if it could be used as a fan, but it wasn’t enough, so, she left the store with her face yearning for tears and continued wandering.

    • Axis Sheppard

      Ah, that’s sad… Poor little Claire! I liked how your story was written (even if there was commas everywhere, but meh, it’s part of what joe asked us to do…). I liked also that part: «When she looked at the price tag, her face was drained of life,». That’s arriving me quite often… xD Don’t desperate, Claire! I’m sure you’ll find a dress better than the one you saw (an less expensive!). *winks to the author

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  • Jay H

    Bill and Julie got into an argument at their favorite restaurant, and everyone looked their, way, but then all of a sudden Big Bird walked through the doors and said hello to them, but Bill and Julie weren’t too impressed because Big Bird was their childhood nightmare, so they both jumped out of their seats and jumped Big Bird as they hit him on the head and stomped their feet into his thick yellow costume, and then the entire restaurant jumped into the melee and started beating each other up, but just then the restaurant order rang his small bell and everyone stood still and listened intently as he said, “Free drinks for everyone,” and so everyone cheered and jeered, celebrating and dancing as Samantha the waitress played Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean in the background, and the crowd went wild as the gathered around Big Bird, who threw a spectacular break dance performance on one of the restaurant tables and did the splits, and beer jugs waved through the air as beer splashed onto people’s shirts, but nobody cared because they were having so much fun as it was one of the most lively nights of the restaurant’s 80-year existence, and as everyone was celebrating, Barack and Michelle Obama popped into the restaurant with their daughters and joined in on the celebration by bringing in their own six-pack of Coors Light and Budweiser, although their was no deliberate choice for those two brands, but Obama didn’t care because he heard about the excitement all of the way from the White House where he was playing Pokemon Go with Joe, who was hiding under Obama’s desk because he found Pokemon, but the point is they were all having fun when out of the blue pops in Joe of course because he found another Pokemon next to Big Bird and jumped on the table and wiggled and jiggled with his cell phone and Pokemon Go app in hand having a jolly old time, and oh boy, that day was one of the greatest days in American history because Obama, Big Bird, and Joe Biden were all dancing on a rectangular table in the middle of a restaurant as Americans twisted and turned their hips to all kinds of hip music, and of course, lo and behold, popped in Beyonce with her crew and Jay-Z right behind her, and just then everyone threw Bill and Julie into the air and thanked them for getting into an argument that day because if it were not for them, America wouldn’t have celebrated the funnest restaurant party in American’s 250-year history, and as the crowds cheered and danced in joy, you know, people of all colors and races, it hit the party/restaurant goers that life really isn’t about colors, races, and identities, but its about love, joy, and having a really good time, and even Bill and Julie realized that, because their argument was about race as Bill is black and Julie is white, and they saw the laughter, humanity, and life that they unintentionally brought to the party, and that was lesson that not only they would learn forever, but a lesson for America.

    • Axis Sheppard

      You have a great imagination that is making your story really interesting. I really laughed while I was reading your text; characters kept “popping” one after the other! xD It was funny and I’ve liked how Bill and Julie teached a lesson to all America without willing to.
      Ps: By the way, don’t tell anyone but (even if people are reading this anyways) Big Bird is scaring me too.

  • Axis Sheppard

    Julie waited for Bill for at least 15 minutes and she was asking herself what was he doing, she finally took the decision to leave when Bill arrived at their favourite restaurant, a french one, with really good food, but Julie just didn’t felt about eating anything at that moment, Bill appologized, saying he didn’t saw the time, so just imagine the reaction of Julie when she heard that pitiable excuse of his, she turned red and was about to commit a murder, and so, she started yelling at her man: “What took you so long?!” she asked him, very frustrated, Bill just looked the other way, feeling bad: “Look, I’m sorr-” he tried to say to Julie who was seeing where this going, so she interrupted him: “You better have a good reason to be late! -About that… Can we just order? All the people are staring at us,” Bill said while glancing upper her shoulder, Julie chuckled in a weird way: “And he tells me that people are staring… Like a give a f*** about it! I waited 15 minutes for you to showing up without any messages or even a call from you! So excuse me if I don’t really care if people are staring right now! At least, they paying attention to me!” she continued, “I-,” tried to talk Bill again, “I don’t think it’s working anymore…”, said Julie, Bill’s face changed in an instant: “What are you talking about?” he asked Julie, “All this… Us. -But I-,” Bill tempted for the last time before being interrupted again, “I don’t think you’re loving me enough. I mean, I don’t even think that you’re in love with me anymore… You totally forgot our date! I’m sure of it! There’s another one, right?! Well, I am kind of seeing another person too and I -WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!” Bill yelled, interrupting for the first Julie, he went off his chair and smashed the table with his hands: “You really wanted to know what was I doing, huh?!”, Bill jerked a little box on the table,”That what I was doing! Keep it if you want to, but don’t ever talk to me again!” Bill screamed at her, tears starting to falling dow, he exited outside and fade out in the night, Julie opened the box that Bill left behind him and openned it, she gasps, it was a ring, a proposal ring.