Mary spotted a comma splice in one of our taglines today. Embarrassing! That’s been there for probably the better part of a decade.
Except I can’t decide if I agree with that grammar rule. I mean, there are plenty of cases where violating it is totally jarring, it’s definitely not ok in this sentence! Shudder. But this sentence sounds pretty ok, I don’t know. Maybe it’s a stylistic thing – you can do it if it’s sufficiently intentional? Like goofy internet-misspellings, amirite? (Huh, TIL, “amirite” is in the actual dictionary. A couple at least, including Google’s, which I normally hate.)
Anyway, what about this tagline: “Track progress toward goals, pay if you go off track”. The fact that it’s jarring to Mary is plenty reason to just fix it but I’m curious what our fellow grammar nerds think…
- Track progress toward goals, pay if you go off track
- Track progress toward goals; pay if you go off track
(Note you can vote for both if you think they’re both fine.)
I also can’t decide if it’s way too cheap to count fixing that as a UVI. There’s an argument that it’s totally in the original spirit of daily user-visible improvements where no improvement is too small and it’s all about just keeping up the momentum. But this one might just be too cheap, not to mention that I can’t totally decide if it’s an improvement even though I’m fixing it per @mary’s orders. (Was that another comma splice in the previous sentence? My confidence is suddenly shattered here!)
- Typo fixes are legit UVIs!
- Typo fixes are too cheap; we demand real change!
PS: It’s fixed now and the more I look at it the more right Mary seems. Or at least that the semicolon is aesthetically better here, correctness aside. I still have no sense of when the comma splice rule is fine to ignore. My comma philosophy is that it’s all about how it sounds when read out loud. I think those are fighting words for @mary so maybe I can lure her in here and we can duke it out.
PPS: If you spot conceivable typos in any of our copy, we obviously really want to know! Also if you want to argue about unambiguously incorrect grammar rules (not ending sentences with prepositions, not splitting infinitives, not starting sentences with conjunctions, insisting on “fewer” instead of “less” for count-nouns, saying “an historic”) I’m alllll about that.