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Quick Comma Question - is it needed after "small amenities"?


Notoman 20 / 419  
Jul 23, 2010   #1
This is an essay on packing a backpack for a camping trip. My question: Is the comma after "small amenities" needed or am I better off without it?

Foam earplugs and a sleeping mask rest atop the pile. My friends will call me "Princess," but without these two, small amenities, their snoring will prevent me from falling asleep and the early-morning light will make it impossible to stay asleep after the sun rises.

Thanks!
Azeri 10 / 137  
Jul 25, 2010   #2
HI, Noto

You need a comma there. Also I think you need it after "falling asleep".
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jul 26, 2010   #3
The answer has to do with the meaning of the sentence.
You don't need a comma if the clause it would separate is necessary for the meaning of the sentence.

You are saying something about what will happen without those two small amenities, so there is no need for a comma:
My friends will call me "Princess," but without these two small amenities their snoring will prevent me from falling asleep, and the early-morning light will make it impossible to stay asleep after the sun rises.

I did put a comma after asleep to SEPARATE THE 2 HALVES OF A COMPOUND SENTENCE. That is always a time to use a comma.

I removed the comma after small because, although you are supposed to put a comma after every item on a list of two or more, I don't think small counts for some reason!

Really, in the end it is up to the writer. Readers are not sure. I am not sure either... and language is always changing.

Here is an example of a sentence that needs commas because of an clause:

I removed the comma after small because, although you are supposed to put a comma after every item on a list of two or more, I don't think "small" counts for some reason!

The sentence would still be complete and express its meaning without that clause:
I removed the comma after small because I don't think "small" counts for some reason!

Crazy.. crazy commas. Omit them when you can. The other symbols trip over them.
OP Notoman 20 / 419  
Jul 27, 2010   #4
ACK! Commas are hard! I don't think I will ever master them. Thanks for the input! I'm off to move some commas around.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jul 27, 2010   #5
Nah, really it does not matter. I saw a book by Leslie Marmon Silko and noticed that she does not care what Strunk and White say about comma use. And she is great!!


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