Monday, April 21, 2008

School Dropouts, Superfluous Comma, and Tricky Gerunds

Clueless in America

Published: April 22, 2008

We don’t hear a great deal about education in the presidential campaign. It’s much too serious a topic to compete with such fun stuff as Hillary tossing back a shot of whiskey, or Barack rolling a gutter ball.

The unneeded comma after "whiskey" separates compound gerund phrases. You use a comma between two independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction, not two dependent clauses or two phrases.

"Hillary" and "Barack" should be possessive "Hillary's" and "Barack's" for possessive before the gerund.


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