Small, fat balls? It’s a punctuation thing

| May 26, 2011 | 0 Comments

There’s a bird boom this spring. The garden outside my studio window is full of newly-fledged blackbirds, starlings, blue tits, coal tits, wood pigeons, rooks, crows, magpies, dunnocks and house sparrows. So fat balls are on the menu… lots of ’em.

Ambling to the corner shop early this morning before firing up my PC, I was amused to see they’d described their bird food as small, fat balls rather than small fat balls. Which just goes to show how crucial something as seemingly insignificant as a comma can be.

When do you use a comma?

When you want to separate connected / unconnected ideas or items in a list.

  • connected ideas: I wanted to go for a walk, but the weather was awful
  • unconnected ideas: I was in my studio, Tony was at work and the cats were asleep
  • lists: I bought a packet of dark chocolate biscuits, some small fat balls and a Mars bar

If you get stuck, read your sentence out loud and add commas where you naturally pause.


Category: copywriting and marketing

By Kate Goldstone - ()

Originally from Middlesbrough, I lived in Brighton for many years before moving to North Devon. I’ve had a passion for words all my life and this is my twelfth year as a freelance writer. In my spare time I draw, paint, sculpt, carve wood and rock, garden, read, write poetry and enjoy long distance hiking. I sing and play the recorder. I collect modernist paintings, vintage rugs and mid-century German art pottery. I’m a member of The Poetry Society. And I am an experienced volunteer shepherd, a ‘Lookerer’.

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