Gluten · Writing

Misplaced Commas – They’re Jumping Out Like Jackrabbits

The one we saw was yellow – Bumblebee’s Grandma! Image attributed to Sicnag via Wikimedia Commons.

Lots of “wanteds” in this post. I had wanted to have The Stone of Kings finished by now. But a certain booger-nosed three-year old has kept us from visiting the Y this week. Add an accidental glutening on to that, and I’m surprised that I got any writing done at all. I also wanted to get real pics that I took for this post, but I can’t figure out how to get them off of my new phone. So, you got Wikimedia again. Sorry.

But I am almost finished writing. Yet circumstances in life have cause the end of my book to elude me as effectively as the end of a rainbow. I saw the end of the rainbow once. It went into the Ohio River.

But I digress.

While I’m nearing the end of my book, I’m finding that the editor hat I discovered while publishing my first book, keeps wanting to show itself prematurely. Because of this, I’m noticing grammar/punctuation mistakes in the strangest of places. Case in point: this past weekend.

Our trip to Rainbow River was a bust because we failed to look at the weather report. If we had, we would have seen that remnants of Tropical Storm Chantel were going to dump rain on us just as we arrived. So instead we hopped over to the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing in Ocala. I enjoyed it about as much as any only-female-in-a-house-full-of-males would. My favorite part was when William noticed a yellow, 1940 Studebaker and proclaimed it to be Bumblebee’s Grandma. (He’s trying to get into Transformers right now, but I’m holding him back as much as I can because of the violence.)

When they found a looped video of a drag race crash, Charlie sat and watched it about 30 times. Sitting there with him, I got bored, so looked at the framed pictures on the wall behind us. There was a magazine article, with no date, which talked about building your own dragster chassis. At first, I laughed that it mentioned how a ready-made dragster was a whopping $5000 (I’m guessing the article was written in the ’60s?), I then noticed something that made me wish I had a red pen:

[Imagine here a picture of the article with the following error which I had wanted to highlight in red] “…and started winning the, tables started to turn…”

Even as I typed the error just now, I naturally wanted to put the comma before “the.”

So I’m surrounded by over one hundred years of ingenuity and pure horse power. Behind me, as I stare at that wall, there are some of the finest and most powerful cars ever built. Why is it that what I notice the most was a misplaced comma?

I think hubby wanted to leave me there with that misplaced comma.

Do you suffer from finding spelling and grammar errors amid greatness? Does it drive your family crazy too? You’re not alone! 😉 Share your story!

14 thoughts on “Misplaced Commas – They’re Jumping Out Like Jackrabbits

  1. Misplaced modifiers! In church! Okay, I know not everybody’s churchy, but even if you’re not, you might find this funny. I was sitting in the pew one Sunday, and the pastor was doing his final close-out on the sermon. He was really winding up for a hit-it-out-of-the-park kind of closing. Then he said, “Jesus can only save you.” My brain came to a screeching halt. What!? What!? Only Jesus can save you. Or maybe even: Jesus only can save you. But Jesus can only save you? As in THAT’S ALL HE’S CAPABLE OF DOING? HE CAN DO NOTHING ELSE? I’d recently been editing a MS where a multitude of misplaced modifiers was pointed out to me by a watchful editor. So I *might* have been hypersensitive. Ever since that day, though, I notice those little cretins everywhere…misplaced modifiers. Ugh. Now I can’t sit through a sermon without hearing them. Oh for the days of blissful ignorance! My life will never be the same again. (On the bright side, now that I’m more aware I have a lot fewer of them in my writing!) 😉

    1. LOL Heather! That’s an awesome story! 😀 I think it’s telling that we writers finally see these errors popping out like spring blossoms after we finish editing our first book. I’m sure other people see them too, but when you’re not meant to be looking for them, like in church or a museum, that’s when we bookish people are more likely to catch them. lol

  2. Well, it doesn’t help that after I learned the comma rules, they changed them! (aww shucks, too sleepy to end this comment with the preposition I’d planned, in honor of the Norther tier states) (excessive parentheses will do- pardon me for whining in your comment box)

    1. lol treasa65. Yep, just when you think you’ve gotten it, something changes. Just as long as texting isn’t allowed in school essays, I’ll be happy. If it ever is, you and I can whine together. 😉

  3. Yes, missing commas and extra commas are a problem. It’s like that magazine cover that announced an article where “Rachael Ray talks about eating her family and friends.” I’m always noticing incorrect homonyms, too. When I’m reading facebook posts and emails, I can’t believe how many people write “Your welcome” in responses! I had a difficult time just typing that! Or “I went too a great concert last night.” Makes me want to cringe!

    1. I remember that magazine headline! lol! I remember teaching an exercise where punctuation changed a “Dear John” letter from something sweet to something vindictive. It was fun. 😉 Those homonyms irritate me too. The last one I saw was “I’m board.” Should I nail them to a fence? lol

  4. Gramatical errors drive me crazy! Even though I still make them, I’m critical of others… especially when it’s published.

  5. LOL! It’s always funny how loved ones respond when we get caught up in grammar issues. 🙂 DH calls me his Little, Brown Handbook.
    The changing comma rules cause some problems, but when the comma is just WRONG, ugh!!!
    Thanks for a post that made me smile, Shea!
    Heather, I’m still laughing about Jesus only saving you. Ahahahaha!

    1. Thanks marybethlee! 😀 I’m glad I could make you smile. When something like that comma error just irritates you, you’ve got to make it funny somehow. lol I’m still laughing about Heather’s post too.

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