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SQUEEKY2's avatar

In grade school or high school did your English teacher ever give you heck for not putting a space after a comma?

Asked by SQUEEKY2 (6710 points ) May 17th, 2014

Until Fluther I was never called on for putting a space after a comma, I guess my English teachers were just thrilled I used one in the right context, it seems very trivial to me, come on most of don’t hold a phd in writing, is it really that big a deal?

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31 Answers

dappled_leaves's avatar

The problem appears to be that you are putting a space before the comma, not after the comma. And yes, of course my teachers insisted on proper punctuation. That was their job.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I mean my boss has never hauled me onto the carpet to give me heck that I didn’t space my comma’s in a repair report, or my log book.

gailcalled's avatar

We were also taught that to form a plural of a common noun, one simply adds an “s,” as in commas. The conventions of writing are in place for a reason. Your readers will appreciate it. My eyes twitch when I see your comma placement in the question. In your answer above, I can focus on your ideas and not the punctuation.

Using the correct idiom is also reasonable…to give me hell is expected. To give me heck is jarring.

(Any interest in what a run-on sentence is?)

DipanshiK's avatar

Teachers always give a hard time for these things. Firstly it’s their job and secondly they want to bring out the best in us. Students in their kid world believe its frustrating but actually it’s for their own good.

And if we talk about someone with a phd and if we doesn’t know the basic sense of grammar then that degree is of no use. A phd with failed grammar is shameful and ultimately just funny to hear.

whitenoise's avatar

Mine did.

Not to much avail, but they did.

livelaughlove21's avatar

No, because I always put a space there. Never thought not to.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I don’t know why then not one of my teachers ever brought it up,guess like I said they must have been just thrilled that I was using one,maybe thought they would drill the space thing into me later but never did.

hearkat's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 – In Elementary through High School my work was hand-written because it was the ‘70s through early ‘80s. Spacing is less obvious with handwriting than in printed form. In college and grad school, my work was typed on a typewriter or PC, and they did grade on grammar – even in courses that were not English or Writing. When I was in a position that we typed out narrative medical reports for each patient, we always had a colleague proofread our work before we sent it in the mail. Now with Electronic Medical Records, typos in the chart are far more common, but reported to be mailed are typically dictated and typed by a transcription it’s who knows the proper rules of grammar.

I am unsure, but I have the impression that you are at least my age (mid- to late-40s), and that you did not attend post-secondary education. If the impression I have is correct, all or most of your schoolwork was hand-written, and you were not taught how to type. That is most likely why you do not recall being taught about or graded on spacing. If I am incorrect, and you did take typing or keyboarding in school or presented typed work for grading, then either your memory is lacking, or you had inadequate instruction.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 Just so we’re clear… there should be a single space after a comma, and no space before a comma. You seem to have swung from one extreme to the other. ;)

gailcalled's avatar

Is this the right place and right time to discuss the run-on sentence? When to use a comma and when to use a period and start a new sentence enters into this discussion, it seems.

It helps the reader to steer correctly, similar to stop lights, yield signs and rules of the road when driving. Safer and more-energy efficient all around.

whitenoise's avatar

Well you are here, @gailcalled. Who better to ask then Fluther, therefore?

downtide's avatar

When I was in school, proper grammar and punctuation was insisted upon, but I never “got heck” from the teachers because I always did it right.

GloPro's avatar

Teachers should crack down on grammar. Isn’t that part of their jobs?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@hearkat Your right I didn’t take post secondary education, I am in my early fifties and wanted to drive transport trucks since I was six, and maybe that is why I was never called upon this space after a comma thing that get people so uptight, I wish people would pay as much attention to their driving as they do to other peoples punctuation and the world might just be a better place.
Or at least for us truckers.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 “I wish people would pay as much attention to their driving as they do to other peoples punctuation”

I do. :)

gailcalled's avatar

@Squeeky2: I wish people would pay as much attention to their driving as they do to other peoples (sic) punctuation and the world might just be a better place.

I do too.

bolwerk's avatar

I don’t consider it a big deal. We live in a godless, amoral universe. Punctuate however you want.

TheRealOldHippie's avatar

Squeeky, I think nowadays they’d (the teachers) be tickled pink, thrilled and otherwise excited just to see someone actually writing out a word – forget about using a comma!! Remember, we’ve entered into an era where writing is no longer being taught in some school systems, where textspeak is the accepted norm and where most people are twits who tweet and couldn’t construct a proper sentence if they had to. So, having said all that C U L8R – Hey, I assume that’s right – took me a few minutes to figure it out!! Sometimes I feel like a dinosaur in this new technological age where punctuation, spelling and grammar have all gone to hell. And, it makes me very worried about the future – very worried.

longgone's avatar

^ ”...Where writing is no longer being taught in some school systems, where textspeak is the accepted norm and where most people are twits who tweet and couldn’t construct a proper sentence if they had to.”

Source?

TheRealOldHippie's avatar

From being an educator at the university level for close to 30 years, longgone. And if you haven’t seen the countless news stories where cursive writing is no longer being taught in many school systems – well, I don’t know what to tell you other than it’s time you stop texting and start paying attention to what’s going on in the world.

longgone's avatar

@TheRealOldHippie
Well…see, you can cite your personal experience as your source. While that is, as you will admit, biased, it certainly is difficult to disregard. For me to look at “story of random person on the internet” as a valid source, though, would be insane.

I had trouble researching your claims. If you’re having the same problem, you should re-consider… you might have been wrong.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@longgone TheRealOldHippie is right I have seen it on the news that cursive writing is being dropped by a lot of schools now , and it has been on the news several times, and texting craze has become an epidemic, just walk down the hall of a local mall it is easier to count the people that are not texting, or got their head buried in their damn cell phone.all you have to do is look around and see it for yourself, you don’t need a link all you have to do is simply look up.

longgone's avatar

^ It seems like you are saying that schools were lenient when you were a kid…and @TheRealOldHippie is saying education used to be fine, but is now falling apart. How come you two manage to agree? (Serious question.)

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@longgone I was never called upon to do this space after a comma thing,and I think @hearkat answered that when I was in school all my work was hand written , so that is why the space thing was never pushed on me, don’t really think they were being lenient it just wasn’t an issue with hand written work, and the education system is somewhat falling apart now and dropping cursive writing just shows it,you don’t think that could lead to big problems for those people if they are not taught it then they sure as heck can’t read it then right?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

And was agreeing with him on the cursive writing thing, and text speak that is all.
It really has been on the news , but I know no link and you won’t believe it right?

TheRealOldHippie's avatar

http://azstarnet.com/news/national/handwriting-nears-end-of-line-as-us-schools-stop-teaching/article_2424801f-10ff-5cdd-bb76-7cfb553127d2.html

This was just the first of several hundred thousand results when I Googled “Schools To Stop Teaching Cursive Writing.”

But, you know Squeeky – there’s no satisfying some people no matter what – they wouldn’t believe it if it were in the Bible or whatever their choice of a Holy Book might be!

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Hey just went and in a five second google search came up with a link for ya
http://abcnews.go.com/US/end-cursive/story?id=12749517

longgone's avatar

Never said I don’t believe the cursive writing claim; @TheRealOldHippie didn’t mention cursive writing in his first post (which I was referring to); don’t see the big deal – but that’s a separate question; don’t own a holy book.

And I am exhausted, thus done here. Will be back tomorrow.

TheRealOldHippie's avatar

Sorry dude, but to me “writing” just automatically means cursive!

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@TheRealOldHippie yeah to me as well.

LostInParadise's avatar

Like others here, we wrote cursively when I went to school. My penmanship has always been awful. My teachers would have been glad to trade it in for typewritten assignments without spaces after the comma.

Use of grammar and punctuation should be transparent. When you go against convention, you are distracting the reader or listener from the meaning of what you are saying. Done once or twice it is no big deal, but if done consistently it can become very annoying.

As a side note, teachers occasionally do get hung up on small matters and can end up defending old styles that are in the process of disappearing. I was taught to write percent as two separate words, per cent, but percentage as one word. I was also taught to only use the word hopefully to mean full of hope.

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