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?

  • 2
    Curious, why do you feel the need to eradicate it? Your question seems to imply that there's something wrong with this usage of the comma. – Catija Jul 31 '15 at 8:37

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)

  • Thanks for your answer. I like the colon option best I think as the first part of the sentence lays the foundation for the web address. – Shiro Jul 31 '15 at 10:19
  • @DuncanCarr if that answers the question, you can tick the answer to show others that it is no longer open. – Stumbler Jul 31 '15 at 10:24
  • @Stumbler You should never be asking or encouraging a user to accept an answer, especially yours, so soon after a question has been asked. – Alan Carmack Oct 14 '16 at 11:45
  • @AlanCarmack I am sure there are merits for it going permanently unanswered. Your downvote is hilarious though. Are you actually planning to contribute anything to this question, or indeed to the answer, which your peers seem to think is both accurate and good? – Stumbler Oct 14 '16 at 18:22
  • I've upvoted the answer by StoneyB, and downvoted yours, based on each answer's content. – Alan Carmack Oct 14 '16 at 20:03

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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