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25 Unfortunate Sentences That Seriously Need a Comma

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By Cooper Fleishman on July 2, 2012


Ah, the comma! It’s our language’s great organizer, our most familiar — and commonly misused* — punctuation mark. The thousands of ways to abuse the poor squiggle inspired Lynne Truss’ must-read Eats, Shoots & Leaves and motivated The New York Times to publish a piece called “The Most Comma Mistakes,” but apparently no one on Facebook (or Earth) has read them. That’s OK. It’s resulted in the most unintentionally hilarious sentences you’ll ever read. Enjoy the schadenfreude, you snobs.

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This is actually the title of Bill Cosby’s 2007 book:

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(OK, to be fair, this sentence is problematic either way. Nelson Mandela is not an 800-year-old demigod or a dildo collector, as far as we know. Just recast the damn sentence: “… encounters with an 800-year-old demigod, a dildo collector, and Nelson Mandela.”)

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It’s Photoshopped, but it’s still a good lesson.

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*Side note: It’s not just English. The Finnish word pilkunnussija, which translates literally to “comma fucker,” is someone who risks his social wellbeing to annoyingly and persistently point out punctuation errors.

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