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clum
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 7:19:58 AM

Rank: Clumeleon
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Location: United Kingdom
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.

This afternoon we will be discussing the use of the comma (,) in the English language. By following just a few simple guidelines, you'll be writing better stories and giving the Story Verifiers fewer headaches in no time. Throughout, please observe my own use of the comma as an additional example of correct usage.


General Use

The comma is mainly used to break up sentences into smaller, digestible sections without fragmenting it into many short sentences. This has the effect of prompting the reader to pause momentarily as one would when speaking. When proofreading something you have written, place a comma in the places where you instinctively pause; this method will rarely fail you.

Example

I pushed his face into my moist pussy, forcing his tongue in deeper, smothering him with my womanly wetness.

Notice how the commas improve the fluidity of the sentence (no pun intended). Try reading it as though it had no commas. Now imagine it read,

I pushed his face into my moist pussy. I forced his tongue in deeper. I smothered him with my womanly wetness.

Although there is technically nothing wrong with it written like that, I think you'll all agree that my original sentence has a much better "feel" to it.


Lists

When writing a list, one should almost always use commas to do so. There are few things that irritate a Story Mod more than a sentence with the word 'and' in it twelve times. We could be talking about a list of nouns, a list of verbs, a list of adjectives or just about any other kind of list you can think of; the comma will work nine times out ten.

Example 1

I went to the Lush Store yesterday to buy a leather whip, steel handcuffs, a massive tub o' lube and a shiny new butt plug.

Such a list should typically have 'and' or 'or' before the last item on it. Again, the key is to read it through and insert commas where there is a natural rest.

Example 2

He ran his tongue up my outer lips, swirled it around my throbbing clit and then nibbled gently, sending me to a new world of ecstasy. I was squirming, writhing, thrusting and screaming all at once.

This second example shows how the comma can be used to describe a sequence of events and then again, in the second sentence, to list verbs.

There are other ways to more complex things with lists but this should suffice for now.


Subordinate Clauses

Another common way to use the comma is to insert sub-sentences which give additional information. This works in a similar way to parentheses without the implication that what is contained within is somehow an aside. When you use the comma in this way, an easy way to check if it is correct is by removing the section between the commas. If the sentence still makes sense then you're fine.

Example

He lowered his shorts to reveal the biggest, and I mean biggest, cock this side of the Atlantic. He grabbed it in one hand and, grinning at the amazement on my face, shoved it forcefully into my mouth.

I find this can be a nice little technique to enhance the quality of your writing. However, be careful not to overdo it.


Before Conjunctions

When a conjunction ('and', 'but', 'or', etc.) separates two independent clauses (parts of a sentence that can stand alone as a sentence in their own right), a comma usually precedes it. Such a comma may not be necessary for simple sentences.

Example 1

She came over to the house to watch the film with me, but it took me a full hour to build up the courage to jump her bones.

Notice the comma before 'but' because, "She came over to the house to watch the film with me," and, "It took me a full hour to build up the courage to jump her bones," are independent clauses. On the other hand...

Example 2

She came over and we fucked like crazy.

In this case, because the sentence is not in the least complicated, one needn't necessarily place a comma before 'and'.


In Speech

This is something which is commonly done incorrectly (and really gets up my nose). If you are writing a piece which includes dialogue, please make sure it is punctuated correctly. There are several other resources on Lush Stories which you can use for this, as well as many all over the interwebs. I cannot go into great depth here but I will give one explanatory example.

Example

"Drop your drawers," he ordered, smirking, "And give me a taste of that sweet, tender pussy."

Take note of where I have placed the commas. For more on formatting dialogue, click HERE.


That concludes today's lesson. If you're all very good boys and girls, I might do one on the mysterious semi-colon (one of my favourite pieces of punctuation and sadly often mis- or under-used).

Have a nice day.

She Just Wants To Be

Third place entry in the Toy With Me competition.
TheDevilsWeakness
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 8:53:09 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 7/19/2011
Posts: 1,345
Location: I'm the girl that your father hoped he could date.
clum wrote:
Before Conjunctions

Commas should not, in general, be used before a conjunction (I'm thinking of 'and' and 'but' in particular). There are certainly exceptions to this rule but they are few and far between. If in doubt, don't use a comma.

Example

She came over to the house and watched the film with me but it took me a full hour to build up the courage to jump her bones.

Notice how I didn't use any commas, even though it is tempting to place one before 'but' (and sometimes I swither myself). It's just something to be wary of.


In Speech

This is something which is commonly done incorrectly (and really gets up my nose). If you are writing a piece which includes dialogue, please make sure it is punctuated correctly. There are several other resources on Lush Stories which you can use for this, as well as many all over the interwebs. I cannot go into great depth here but I will give one explanatory example.

Example

"Drop your drawers and spread your legs," he ordered, smirking, "It's time that I got a taste of that sweet, tender pussy."

Take note of where I have placed the commas. Also notice that the second part of dialogue, although contained within the same sentence, begins with an upper case letter. There are many nuances that I shan't go into but that you absolutely should if you want to get this right.


That concludes today's lesson. If you're all very good boys and girls, I might do one on the mysterious semi-colon (one of my favourite pieces of punctuation and sadly often mis- or under-used).

Have a nice day.


Thanks Clum! Applause

I'm absolutely terrible for my comma use in both of these examples. This explains it quite nicely!

Swollen
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 9:30:19 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 5/27/2010
Posts: 1,029
Location: United Kingdom
Hey Clum, nice one - shame they don't teach children as clearly as this at school anymore.

Anyway - I have an exclamation mark addiction !! Can you help please ? (resisting it - oh what the hell !!!!!)

Thank you
playsit
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 10:13:37 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/26/2011
Posts: 455
Location: Northeastern Untied Sates, United States
swollen wrote:
Hey Clum, nice one - shame they don't teach children as clearly as this at school anymore.


I think Mr Clum would be able to hold the attention of high schoolers everywhere. study
Guest
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 10:20:12 AM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 700,412
Nice thread, Clum!!

Thank you x
principessa
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 10:34:13 AM

Rank: Sophisticate

Joined: 8/23/2011
Posts: 4,335
Location: Canada
Well done, Clum. How about another about the proper use of apostrophes. Hate when I see them for plurals.


lafayettemister
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 10:38:35 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/4/2010
Posts: 6,469
Location: Alabama, United States
This reminds me of something I've seen on the internet before. I'll paraphrase.

It's lunchtime. Let's eat, Mazza.

vs.

It's lunchtime. Let's eat Mazza.

Come to think of it, she'd probably like it either way. (I hope I used my comma properly in that sentence)





When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates
Swollen
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 10:56:15 AM

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Joined: 5/27/2010
Posts: 1,029
Location: United Kingdom
lol You did get it right - I think !!
DirtyMartini
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 10:59:19 AM

Rank: Purveyor of Poetry & Porn

Joined: 10/19/2009
Posts: 5,851
Location: Right here on Lush Stories..., United States
Yeah, commas be important...I may have posted this somewhere before, but forgive me...




You know you want it, you know you need it bad...get it now on Amazon.com...
Lush Erotica, an Anthology of Award Winning Sex Stories

Guest
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 12:08:48 PM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 700,412
Coco
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 12:14:42 PM

Rank: Lady of Mystery
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principessa wrote:
Well done, Clum. How about another about the proper use of apostrophes. Hate when I see them for plurals.



THIS is my biggest pet peeve when it comes to grammar!

Really nice post here. Great job Clum.




clum
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 12:29:22 PM

Rank: Clumeleon
Moderator

Joined: 5/13/2011
Posts: 5,671
Location: United Kingdom
I'm glad this thread has gone down well; I will certainly consider posting more (I've got exclamation marks, apostrophes and semi-colons on my list so far).

The main reason I wrote this was so that, when I'm verifying stories with atrocious comma use, I have a single source I can point to and say, "Go look at this before you resubmit, please."

@Swollen - I think I was lucky in that I had a really good English language education in primary school (although we didn't have quite the same examples). I think I was even more lucky in that I remembered it all. You'd be surprised how important good English is when writing mathematics.

@LM - Yes, you did get it right. Also, LOL!

She Just Wants To Be

Third place entry in the Toy With Me competition.
DirtyMartini
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 12:45:09 PM

Rank: Purveyor of Poetry & Porn

Joined: 10/19/2009
Posts: 5,851
Location: Right here on Lush Stories..., United States
Yes, grammar be much important...




You know you want it, you know you need it bad...get it now on Amazon.com...
Lush Erotica, an Anthology of Award Winning Sex Stories

stephanie
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 1:06:43 PM

Rank: Bohemian

Joined: 1/1/2010
Posts: 5,681
Location: Dublin, Ire., Ireland


Uh-Oh.......

(I just learned AT LEAST ONE thing I already should have known.)

And THIS from a Math Major.... Oh, The Shame!!!!!

More Please, Grammar Lord Clum!!!

xx Steph

'I fear I shall be swept away by the swell I can glimpse through the slats on the pier..." xx SF
Guest
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 1:48:13 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 700,412
Very enjoyable thread, well written and practical too. I've always thought that I overuse commas but I do enjoy the wee buggers.
Guest
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 1:55:59 PM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
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clum
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 2:03:18 PM

Rank: Clumeleon
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Joined: 5/13/2011
Posts: 5,671
Location: United Kingdom
Gurlyboy wrote:
Very enjoyable thread, well written and practical too. I've always thought that I overuse commas but I do enjoy the wee buggers.


What I've found is that it isn't usually a case of too many or too few commas, they're just in the wrong place.

Certain complex sentence structures do require a lot of commas and I think people worry about using too many and cluttering up their text even when it really is necessary. At the same time, using too few usually results in sentences that don't make sense and need to be read three times before you can make head or tail of them.

Then there's poetry... Many people just forget that punctuation even exists in poetry. I am more lenient because of "poetic license" but sometimes I have to cringe my way through them. I can edit a story no problem but I feel like poets are a lot more touchy if you edit their work.

She Just Wants To Be

Third place entry in the Toy With Me competition.
DirtyMartini
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 2:26:36 PM

Rank: Purveyor of Poetry & Porn

Joined: 10/19/2009
Posts: 5,851
Location: Right here on Lush Stories..., United States
clum wrote:


I can edit a story no problem but I feel like poets are a lot more touchy if you edit their work.


Yeah, I'm a moderator over on the blue site and I've yet to edit a poem...I know the feeling though, and let's not forget about the use of capital letters or lack thereof...


You know you want it, you know you need it bad...get it now on Amazon.com...
Lush Erotica, an Anthology of Award Winning Sex Stories

Shylass
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 2:48:52 PM

Rank: Gingerbread Lover

Joined: 1/6/2012
Posts: 3,717
Location: Trumpton, United Kingdom
DirtyMartini wrote:


Yeah, I'm a moderator over on the blue site and I've yet to edit a poem...I know the feeling though* and let's not forget about the use of capital letters or lack thereof...


I think Fred stole all the commas* thinking they were hooks with which to catch fish cakes. But it's too late: I've eated them all. clown

Top thread, Clum.



*When you find one* insert comma here.


Ut incepit fidelis, sic permanet.

***
********************************CLICK THE BANNERS TO BUY THESE WILLY-STIFFENING BOOKS!********************************
DirtyMartini
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 2:59:12 PM

Rank: Purveyor of Poetry & Porn

Joined: 10/19/2009
Posts: 5,851
Location: Right here on Lush Stories..., United States
You know what I love about the internet...you can Google something like "funny comma pictures" and come back with about 2.2 million results...








You know you want it, you know you need it bad...get it now on Amazon.com...
Lush Erotica, an Anthology of Award Winning Sex Stories

Guest
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 3:05:56 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 700,412
I just remembered, I read a book, called Johnny Got His Gun, recently without any commas in it at all. It was difficult, but after I got into it, it became easier and I naturally put the commas in where they should have been.
Cherism
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 3:24:01 PM

Rank: Story Verifier
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My pet peeve is people who use commas as periods. There is a very distinct difference people!! Learn it and use them properly.
DirtyMartini
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 3:29:25 PM

Rank: Purveyor of Poetry & Porn

Joined: 10/19/2009
Posts: 5,851
Location: Right here on Lush Stories..., United States
Well, I finally figured out what a "cereal comma" is...



You know you want it, you know you need it bad...get it now on Amazon.com...
Lush Erotica, an Anthology of Award Winning Sex Stories

DirtyMartini
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 3:38:49 PM

Rank: Purveyor of Poetry & Porn

Joined: 10/19/2009
Posts: 5,851
Location: Right here on Lush Stories..., United States
Yes, sometimes a comma is definitely needed...



You know you want it, you know you need it bad...get it now on Amazon.com...
Lush Erotica, an Anthology of Award Winning Sex Stories

clum
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 3:40:22 PM

Rank: Clumeleon
Moderator

Joined: 5/13/2011
Posts: 5,671
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I didn't actually know about the serial comma but, as you can see, I'm generally against it. Those cases where the serial comma is deemed by many to be necessary are clearly some of the instances I have referred to as 'exceptions', albeit unknowingly. It just ain't how things are done where I come from.

She Just Wants To Be

Third place entry in the Toy With Me competition.
DLizze
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 8:05:53 PM

Rank: Advanced Wordsmith

Joined: 4/23/2011
Posts: 2,568
There is a very fine line between proper use of serial commas, and comma splices. Most witers I have seen on Lush don't just cross it; they obliterate it. And there's a semi colon for ya, Clum! Oh, and look! An apostrophe, too!

"There's only three tempos: slow, medium and fast. When you get between in the cracks, ain't nuthin' happenin'." Ben Webster
Guest
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 5:43:14 AM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 700,412
Do moderators reject grammatically incorrect stories? Or do you have to correct them?
Coco
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 6:07:23 AM

Rank: Lady of Mystery
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Joined: 7/22/2011
Posts: 5,087
Location: Fantasy City, United States
boredomsufferer wrote:
Do moderators reject grammatically incorrect stories? Or do you have to correct them?


We have the option to reject the story or correct the story. It is at our discretion and often we will correct them if the number of errors are small, too many errors and most of us tend to reject.




Guest
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 7:14:02 AM

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cocokisses wrote:


We have the option to reject the story or correct the story. It is at our discretion and often we will correct them if the number of errors are small, too many errors and most of us tend to reject.


Big Hugs
Guest
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 8:04:24 AM

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