The use of commas

In Dantés Divine Comedy he talked about the nine circles of hell.

I’ve added a tenth circle, inappropriate use of commas and the need to review them in a 50k thesis.

Boy do I like my comma.  I appear to liberally spread them throughout my writing without any respect for their actual placement in the sentence.

One particular habit, that I’ve demonstrated in this sentence, is by splitting a sentence into smaller parts, when it really, really isn’t necessary.  There’s only one comma needed in that preceding sentence but that doesn’t stop me splashing them around like confetti at a wedding.

Why is this causing me so much angst at the moment?  I’ve completed my second read through of my draft thesis and am about to send it to my supervisor for the metaphorical red-pen.  In reality it will be littered with comments.  I want my supervisor to concentrate on the words that I’m saying, not my next abomination to the English language.

“Eats, Shoots and Leaves” has nothing on me I tell you.

Apart from beating myself up on the English I use, this is the first time for a good while that I’ve read the document through from start to finish within the space of a few days.  Yes there are some areas that need polish, but overall it has come together quite well.  There are some ‘good’ words, and I’ve countered some criticism that’s been levelled at it as I’ve gone along.

Tomorrow I give it a final read through and send off to my supervisor.  I’m not nervous, I’ve gone beyond that and I’m in a new area of terror, but it has to be done.

Meanwhile, my usually well-behaved Microsoft Word for Mac 2011 has decided to throw a hissy fit worthy of a product from Microsoft (ah, that would be the problem then) and decided that every place I use a cross reference back to Chapter One to restart the page numbers.  No, correct that – to lose all the page numbers from that point onward.  I have found the solution, and it’s not elegant, but has to be done.


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