I was just reading an essay by Gertrude Stein, in which she says:

Commas are servile and they have no life of their own … A comma by helping you along and holding your coat for you and putting on your shoes keeps you from living your life as actively as you should lead it.

(You can find it in her book “Lectures in America”)

I basically agree, except that I find them useful for exactly this reason, because usually (e.g. at work) my goal is to transmit information, not to deeply engage my audience’s creativity.

At work, I’ve become known as a hyphen/dash expert. Enough so that someone pinged1 me this week to ask about what kind of dash to use to indicate no answer in a form. 😆

1 Do normal people use this word to mean “messaged in a generic chat app”?

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