5

I saw the following (what I believe to be a) comma splice in an advert this morning and was wondering how you would go about remedying it.

Be a part of it, visit [web address]

Would it be better to substitute the comma for a dash?

3

Yes the comma does not make much sense in the context. As it stands it seems like a conjunction; merely combining two statements which don't have much in common.

Be a part of it, visit [web address], buy an ice-cream, and think about life.

A fullstop or colon would be better, depending on what meaning you wished to convey.

Be a part of it. Visit [web address].

(two separate statements)

Be a part of it: visit [web address].

(second part of sentence is tied directly to first part)

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4

There is no need to fix this.

The "rule" against comma splices only comes into play in fairly formal discourse where joining long phrases or clauses with a comma instead of an explicit conjunction (an and or a conjunctive point) may lead the reader to expect a list. You want to avoid creating false expectations which force the reader to back up and re-parse what he has already read.

But in speech, in writing which emulates speech, and in many literary contexts the comma splice is perfectly acceptable. Even in formal discourse it is acceptable when the spliced elements are short and the construction is sufficiently distinct from the surrounding text to be understood at first glance.

Your example is colloquial ad copy and very short. There's no ambiguity here, and nothing to be corrected.

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  • I think your answer is more interesting than the other one, but you can provide some reference please? – Quidam Oct 23 '19 at 11:43
  • @Quidam My authority is my own knowledge of usage. Caesar's Veni vidi vici, "I came, I saw, I conquered", has been around for a couple of millennia; as far as I know nobody has ever complained of ungrammaticality in either tongue. The technical term is modern, parataxis, but it goes back to ancient practice. – StoneyB on hiatus Oct 23 '19 at 13:25

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