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Elidor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 01:59 PM
Original message
Charles Pierce on Bush's comma remarks
COMMAS. Once again, the president has been gifted with a new turn of phrase and he's taking it on the road with him. On Tuesday, talking about the war in Iraq, he told an audience in California:

You know, it must seem like an eternity to you, when you think about those elections last December. It certainly does to me, in some ways. Ultimately, when this chapter of history will be written, however, it's going to be a comma. The Iraqis voted for freedom -- comma -- and the United States of America understood that Iraq was the central front in the war on terror and helped this young democracy flourish...


Not surprisingly, the president got the grammar wrong. A comma is incorrectly used when the word "and" is used to join equal and coordinate elements of the same sentence. You don't need a comma before "and" in that sentence. Occasionally, however, you do need a comma before "and." Usually, that is what is called the "serial comma," which is back in vogue with grammarians (as it should be). Here is an example:

"According to the Department of Defense, Aaron Seal, Chase Haag, Justin Peterson, Denise Lannaman, Christopher Consgrove III, Mario Nelson, Joe Narvaez, Michael Oremus, Satieon Greenlee -- comma -- and eight other members of the United States military were killed this week in Iraq."

Hope that helps.

--Charles P. Pierce

http://www.prospect.org/weblog/2006/10/post_1572.html#0...
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Zensea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
1. A bit of a cheap shot
and I'm a proofreader by profession.
I actually am on salary where I work.
People make that mistake all the time.
People who are a lot smarter than Bush.
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Johnyawl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. You so missed the point of that letter


Hint: It wasn't really about grammer.
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Zensea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Grammar, not grammer
Just because I commented on one aspect doesn't mean I missed the point.
It's not a mutually exclusive proposition.

Besides, judging from the responses on the actual blog, a bunch of people also "missed the point."
The point of the letter could be something other than the grammar question, sure, but it's almost a little too subtle of an ironic tactic to really be effective.
A little too cool of a method of wit. A little too understated.
To each his cup of tea, I suppose.
I prefer Swift.
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