One-Day Comma Contest

The following sentence needs commas. Figure out where the commas go, and put the corrected version in the comments below.

Everyone who gets this right will receive a free copy of Zen Comma (so make sure your e-mail address is correct). The contest closes at 8:00 p.m. (EDT) today (8/19/2011). I’ll reveal the answer and the winners at that time. (Ahem…my decisions will be final.)

Don’t take this too seriously. Have fun.

However they had some negative experiences including in some cases unpleasant follow-up visits such as crowded clinics and poor emergency room experiences during after-hours clinical care.

(Don’t see the comment box? Click on the contest title to make sure you’re on the post’s actual page, not the home page.)

CONTEST CLOSED

Thanks to all of you who entered this contest. Here’s where I put the commas:

However, they had some negative experiences, including, in some cases, unpleasant follow-up visits, such as crowded clinics, and poor emergency room experiences during after-hours clinical care.

One note about my version: “follow-up visits” and “emergency room experiences” are different things, which means we need that comma after “clinics.” “Poor emergency room visits are not a type of “unpleasant follow-up visits.” Rather, they are a type of “negative experiences.”

Think about it like this: However, they had some negative experiences, including, in some cases, (1) unpleasant follow-up visits, such as crowded clinics, and (2) poor emergency room experiences during after-hours clinical care.

That tricky comma is essential to show how the items are combined or, in this case, not combined.

Two contest participants got all the commas right except that one. Close enough for me!

Winners are Micro Fiction (#2) and KCM (#4). I’ll send you Bang! Writing with Impact (PDF) and Zen Comma (PDF) in about . . . 2 minutes.

Thank you all for participating. I’ll do this again soon, so be sure to enter again!

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  1. #1 by @mikcooke on August 19, 2011 - 12:08 pm

    However they had some negative experiences, including, in some cases, unpleasant follow-up visits, such as crowded clinics and poor emergency room experiences during after-hours clinical care.

  2. #2 by Micro Fiction (@microfiction6) on August 19, 2011 - 12:50 pm

    However, they had some negative experiences, including, in some cases, unpleasant follow-up visits, such as crowded clinics and poor emergency room experiences during after-hours clinical care.

    • #3 by preciseedit on August 19, 2011 - 6:14 pm

      This entry only missed the comma after “clinics.” – I’m declaring it close enough to win.

      Please send me a valid e-mail address so I can send your books!

  3. #4 by Debra on August 19, 2011 - 1:03 pm

    However, they had some negative experiences, including, in some cases, unpleasant follow-up visits such as crowded clinics, and poor emergency room experiences during after-hours clinical care.

  4. #5 by KCM on August 19, 2011 - 5:57 pm

    However, they had some negative experiences, including, in some cases, unpleasant follow-up visits, such as crowded clinics and poor emergency room experiences during after-hours clinical care.

    • #6 by preciseedit on August 19, 2011 - 6:16 pm

      This entry also missed the comma after “clinics.” – I’m declaring this one close enough to win, too.

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