Commas and a Space to Pause

The Free Cozy Grammar Newsletter with Marie Rackham and Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma

In our most recent Ask Cozy Grammar Q & A session, a participant asked, "Why are commas so confusing? There's so many different rules. How do I begin understanding them?"

It's an excellent question and an excellent beginning itself. As Marie believed, a well-asked question can open innumerable doors.

So I wanted to share the answer I gave about getting started with commas as well as a free excerpt from Marie's lesson on commas from the Basic Cozy Punctuation Course.

First, however, we're pleased to announce several free resources for the month of May. We're offering two Ask Cozy Grammar Q & A sessions this month, on May 13th and 27th from 1:00 to 1:30pm PDT.

We're also offering free access to two special enrichment programs:

A Thousand Thanks

A Thousand Thanks: The Gift of Sadako and Her Cranes is a show I wrote for the Family Series at Vashon Center for the Arts about the book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.

By Heart

By Heart: A Celebration of Words, Magic, and Memory is a show I premiered at Open Space for Arts and Community about the magic of poetry and of words.

Both of these streaming performances will be available for free throughout May 2020.

Learn more on the Free Resources page of our website.

Three Simple Guidelines about Commas

Now back to the question of commas!

Here's the answer I gave in the most recent Ask Cozy Grammar Q & A session. I outline three simple guidelines for how to think about and use commas effectively:

Commas Tell Us to Slow Down

In my answer, I mention that Marie likens punctuation marks to language traffic signs.

In fact, the entire Basic Cozy Punctuation Course uses traffic signs and a trip around Campbell River in Marie's Trusty Camino as a simple and memorable way to show students how commas and other punctuation marks help guide readers through sentences without getting lost.

Here's a free excerpt from her lesson on commas. Commas, she shows us, tell us to slow down and give a little pause within a sentence.

She also gives us a handy punctuation poem for remembering what commas do.

A Space to Pause

As I've thought about commas, it occurred to me that these days of staying at home are themselves like commas. They invite us to slow down, making a space to pause.

That's why we thought to offer free access to our two enrichment programs. With so many of us in search of programming that can be both entertaining and educational, we hope they might offer you and your family a cozy way to enjoy this pause and learn something new at the same time.

Learn more about our free enrichment programs.

And if you have any questions about commas, Ask Cozy Grammar, or Cozy Grammar more generally, please feel free to contact us.

We'll do our best to answer your question as quickly as possible.

Thanks so much for joining us this month.

I hope this finds all of you well.

Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma



Marie's Language Consultant
The Cozy Grammar Series of Courses