Nearly every day, I see comma errors in texts I read.
I don’t mean the texts clients send us for editing prior to publication. I expect to find comma errors in those documents. Clients send their documents to us at Precise Edit so we can make them right before they are submitted, delivered, or published. We edit the documents so they are well written, and we proofread them so they are correct. What I mean is I find comma errors in articles, signs, books, and other types of texts that have already been finalized and made public.
Do you find comma errors, too? Do you find commas in incorrect places or sentences missing commas? Are you a Comma Master? Now is your chance to show off your comma mastery and have some fun.
Find a sentence in a public (i.e., published) document that contains a comma error. In the comments below, provide
- the faulty sentence,
- the source of the sentence,
- an explanation of the error (a couple of sentences will be sufficient), and
- the corrected sentence.
Any entry that provides this information will be considered a qualifying entry. I will accept only one qualifying entry per person.
You have until 11:59 p.m. (EDT), May 29, 2011, to enter this contest with a qualifying entry. Any entries after that time will not be considered. (This gives you about a week.)
The person who provides the selected entry can choose any one of our books in PDF form (except Your Writing Companion, which we give away free at http://hostileediting.com). These include
- Zen Comma: 45-page PDF with examples, instructions, and anecdotes to teach you the 14 major uses for commas and the most common errors;
- 300 Days of Better Writing: 191-page PDF with 300 strategies for improving your writing, organized for daily study, with a topic index for in-depth exploration of a writing topic;
- Precise Edit Training Manual: 65-page PDF with comprehensive instruction on the 29 most common editing strategies we use and problems we fix; and
- Which Word Do I Use?: 18-page PDF with definitions, explanations, guidance on using the words, and examples with discussion.
More information about these writing guides: http://hostileediting.com/.
Process for Selecting a Winning Entry
On May 30, I will review the comments. Each qualifying entry will be labeled with a number. I will use the random number generator at http://www.random.org/ to select one qualifying entry. My selection of a winning entry, using the process described here, is final and is not subject to modification, discussion, or negotiation.
I will notify the owner of the winning entry by e-mail and will also post the selection here.
If you sumbit an entry that I do not consider qualifying, I will respond with a comment that describes why the entry is not qualified and how it may be amended. (For example, if you do not provide a correction, I will let you know. You can then add a new comment that provides the correction.) This gives you a second chance, assuming you make your entry in time for my review.
Please note that I will not check entries after 8:00 p.m. (EDT) on Saturday, May 28. If you submit an unqualified entry after that time, you may not receive notification of an unqualified entry. Submission of an unqualified entry, whether or not I respond to indicate the reason why it is unqualified, does not change the entry deadline.
I think I’ve covered everything about this contest. If you have a question about this contest, please ask it in the comments below.
Overall, the point of this is to have fun and show off a little. I’m looking forward to seeing your entry!