This month we had a discussion around grammar, particularly the importance of punctuation. Wrong punctuation, or punctuation left out can totally change the meaning of a sentence or phrase. We also explored the “Oxford comma”. This is placing a comma in a list before the “and”. For example, “red, white, and blue” rather than “red, white and blue”. Most writing does not use the Oxford comma, but there are places where it can help the sense of the sentence.
We then went on and looked at a list of phrases or sentences where punctuation was necessary, including some Oxford comma examples:
I want to thank my parents, Tiffany and God
This could be read as Tiffany and God are the parents. Adding an Oxford comma before the ‘and’ would help clarify it is a list of things.
Let’s eat Grandma
Unless ‘Grandma’ was the meal, a comma is needed before ‘grandma’.
I’m sorry I love you
Something is needed after ‘sorry’, either a comma or an exclamation mark.
The prompts for July were:
- The dog glanced over her shoulder and trotted off down the path.
- "It wasn't a 'p', after all - it was a 'y'! That made all the difference."
- The candle flickered in its final attempt to stay alive but alas the room was left in total darkness.
The first prompt seemed to be the favourite, with only one person accepting the challenge of the second prompt. This involved mis-reading the name of a town and ending up in Pućon in Chile instead of Yukon in Canada. It apparently took some research to find the two similar towns!
One class member managed to submit an apology for not submitting a story, involving a very creative message covering all three prompts:
“Unfortunately l have no story this month. I lost all my light when the candle ran out. Then the rotten dog ate my homework. I last saw him trotting down the path calmly as you please. Not that the story was much chop. I kept getting the p’s and y’s mixed up in my best dyslexic style. Must try harder next month.”
And this message was the only mention of the third prompt.
Prompts for our August class:
- The swans bobbed up and down at the edge of the lake.
- It was the summer when the chickens went on strike.
- That part of the city always brought back memories.