Too bad we’re not studying Spanish (or French)

I’ve been telling the class that in twenty years’ time, comma splices will be gone. Everyone will use them, and nobody will think they’re wrong.

Then yesterday F.M. asked why I’m teaching the comma-splice rule if it’s going away.


I’m teaching the comma-splice rule because today is today. Babies born this year (probably) won’t have to deal with comma splices when they’re twenty, but you’re not them.

You’re you, you were born when you were born, and today, in the year 2018, comma splices are still a thing. So I have to teach them, and you have to learn them. Tant pis! (That’s French for You have to learn not to use comma splices in English 110.)

I don’t mind teaching comma splices, by the way. Not at all. The comma-splice rule has always made sense to me.

That said, my view of comma splices changed when I discovered that  the French consider them correct. If French writers can use a comma to join two independent clauses, why can’t we ? 

It looks like Spanish-speaking writers don’t have a comma-splice rule, either. Spanish writers may not even have to trouble themselves over run-on sentences.

I wonder whether punctuation rules are easier to learn in French & Spanish.
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