• Bill Kernodle

Let's Eat Bob

What is the picture you see when you read that title? A bunch of shipwreck survivors, starving and near death, pondering who to eat next? Monty Python sketch on same?

What if it said Let’s Eat,Bob. See the difference? Now you see the speaker is calling Bob to come to dinner. One lousy little comma makes all of the difference. This is the proofreader’s job and why everyone needs one, especially before going to print. More than that perhaps is just rereading your own words prior to sending the email or posting your words online.

The internet is awash with examples, both funny and tragic of the one little comma or other punctuation that is missing and can make such a huge difference to your words and ultimately to your message. Can you think of any?

If you type in “punctuation mistakes” in the search bar you will find many examples that will be humorous and borderline tragic as well. I will not bore you with all of the examples.

My only hope is that the copy or words we say and write will be evaluated before we print them or say them out loud. Have you ever said something and wish you hadn’t? In an email or out loud? I know I have.

I have learned after several blunders to “sit” on my email awhile before I send it so I can make sure that I have thoughtfully read the words in print and they are what I want to say. Heck, even that last sentence, without the quotation marks around “sit” would imply that I was actually sitting on a piece of paper, would it not? Can you see me taking an email and putting it under my rear end to sit on it?

One little, tiny comma is all it takes.

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