Puncuation is Everything!

An english professor wrote the words:
“A woman without her man is nothing”
on the chalk board ans asked his students to punctuate it correctly.
All of the males in the class wrote:
“A Woman, without her man, is nothing.”
All the females in the class wrote:
“A woman: without her, man is nothing.”
Punctuation is powerful.

via bits & pieces

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    TrAyVon'S GhOSt, nuCca


    The female version has a grammatical error. There shouldn’t be a comma after ‘her’. People often put commas where they want the reader to pause and by people I of course mean women (though technically they’re more things than people).


    Sorry Magnus, but you’re wrong. There is no grammatical error in the female version. The use of that comma is not for pause, but rather to avoid confusion, which is always allowed. One might argue the sentence is clunky, but that comma is fine where it is.

    tiki god

    I’m with Aristoi on this one


    Punctuation is distinct from grammar, anyway.

    TrAyVon'S GhOSt, nuCca

    I’m 100% certain the comma is wrong.

    Bearing in mind I’ve seen this before as a part of a demonstration on bad grammar (and punctuation! lol) during a graduate seminar. Sorry Aristoi but that’s not to avoid confusion. There is no confusion. It’s a sentence that doesn’t warrant a comma and it’s been put in place there for a pause to effect impact.


    Doesn’t make sense to me because the article “A” at preceeding woman. In the second senence, Man is used as a collective, not an individual. So a single woman wouldn’t work too well…


    College English teacher here: The comma’s correct. If the prepositional phrase begins the sentence, you punctuate after it to show where it ends and the main clause begins. If the main clause comes first, you don’t need a comma before it because the preposition itself is the marker.

    beep beep

    Nope, mAgnUS, I think that comma is needed for confusion or else “her” can be interpreted as a possessive pronoun (as in, “her man”) rather than a 3rd-person singular subject pronoun.


    For instance, that sentence I just wrote begins with “If+phrase+comma”, while “because” isn’t preceded by one because it’s a marker unto itself.

    Female version FTW!

    beep beep

    Argh. I mean, the comma is needed to prevent confusion.
    English is my native language, but strangely I am more proficient in my 2nd language. I had to translate the sentence into my 2nd language to realise that the comma is needed.
    The difference is:
    – Una donna: senza lei, l’uomo è niente.
    – Una donna: senza il suo uomo è niente.


    Haw! I can die happy now. I’ve seen a college English teacher say “FTW!”

    Although I do wonder if in the female version, the colon wouldn’t be better as a semicolon, as if I remember properly a colon was used to list off reaso.. wait… wait, no it’s correct, otherwise the semicolon would bind together two separate fragments to make a compound sentence.


    I also like to quote that “I-D-K, my BFF, Jill?” girl. For the record, colons are used for more than lists and semicolons can also bind complete sentences together to form one longer sentence, often as a fix for a comma splice but also to provide some variation in sentence length among shorter sentences within in a paragraph.


    Your knowledge of the English language makes me wanna hug you.


    TrAyVon'S GhOSt, nuCca

    Must be community college?:P

    The comma is incorrect. This is one of those things that gets passed around. I’m not going to attempt the explanation the rest of you have gone through the trouble to.

    Plus the pluralization error is a given. It should read Women: without them man is nothing. In and of itself the sentence negates the purpose since man is now referring to mankind of which women are a part of. They are nothing without themselves. That I can get on board with! Lesbians. mmmmm


    If it read “Women: without them,man is nothing” then that would be wrong. It should then read “Women, without them, men are nothing.” Not community college…Ph.D. level university prof. If you can’t explain it, the reason is likely because you’re basing your idea on a hunch. Additional to the explanation I’ve already made, without a comma there you’ll have problems distinguishing the idea of “without her, [a] man is nothing”—where “her” refers to the aforementioned woman—from a meaning in which “her” becomes an adjective “without her man…” which obviously is a mistake once your eyes get to the “is nothing”… Read more »

    TrAyVon'S GhOSt, nuCca


    reread my comment then “dr”.

    “…the sentence negates the purpose since man is now referring to mankind ”

    Man is now a noun referring to all men (and women as I pointed out).

    No pluralization is necessary. Understand?

    geeze..and all I have is a lousy graduate degree.


    But if it should be plural, why use synecdoche for “man”? If you’re changing “A woman” to “Women” then you should thereby change “man” to men”. Why not go all the way with your point and make it truly plural by saying, “Women: without them, men are nothing”?

    …In which case, the comma would still be necessary.

    TrAyVon'S GhOSt, nuCca

    No. I clarified that.



    I did read your poorly presented “they are nothing without themselves” comment (saying you’ve got a “lousy graduate degree” wasn’t facetious, was it?), though it seems to come out of nowhere, avoids the issue of the comma (which is what this thread was about)—I suppose as a method of misdirection—and makes little sense, particularly because you never say how you come up with “man” *now being a noun meaning “mankind”* which, sure, *can* include women. However, you didn’t actually clarify how “woman” can mean “women” when there’s a qualifier in front of it that clearly makes it singular *only* and… Read more »


    I think all I can add to this it is:
    “rattybad FTW!!!lol!!”

    TrAyVon'S GhOSt, nuCca

    Bullshit in a pretty skirt is still bullshit “rattybad” “particularly because you never say how you come up with “man” *now being a noun meaning “mankind”* which, sure, *can* include women.” How I came up with it? I was taking a sentence that was incorrect and in fixing it appropriated man to refer to mankind. In the best interest of the author as we are functioning at this point as editors. “However, you didn’t actually clarify how “woman” can mean “women” when there’s a qualifier in front of it that clearly makes it singular *only* and therefore differentiates man from… Read more »


    The sentence was not incorrect as it was, so essentially you made a leap in claiming it was without valid reason. That takes care of your ideas about “man” as synecdoche. By taking out the “a” in “a woman” and making it women—again, without reason—you’ve essentially made a second mistake here because you wanted to and not because it was called for. By “correcting” what wasn’t wrong in the first place, you’ve shown you were no longer paying attention to anything but your own need to be right about *something* (since you were obviously wrong about the comma in the… Read more »


    A battle of the wits. Who shall win? Rattybad? Or the Anus? Lets watch and find out.

    TrAyVon'S GhOSt, nuCca

    The battle is over. He/she tried to argue proper use of a comma while abusing the very same punctuation over and over in the reply and then resorting the the oldest high horse bullshit since the invention of internet based discourse. I mean the sheer volume of punctuation errors in that fucking dumbshit response is clearly indicative of an underdeveloped intellect. ‘It’ even goes so far as to try to use open ended sentences and sarcasm. All he or she has done is back my side and further prove me right. I’d thank you for the hand but it wasn’t… Read more »


    A final thought: “He/she tried to argue proper use of a comma while abusing the very same punctuation over and over in the reply and then resorting the the oldest high horse bullshit since the invention of internet based discourse.” Please explain your own use of “resorting the the…” because I don’t understand the use of “the the” in that sentence and perhaps a genius like yourself can explain its significance. Oh I know…saying “the” twice is like making it plural! You can do that ’cause you’re so smart and you like making things plural when they aren’t. And don’t… Read more »

    TrAyVon'S GhOSt, nuCca

    That’s not punctuation you fucking twat it’s just human error.

    How fucking lame are you?

    Mind coming back after your balls have dropped?

    The human race loses because you continue to live.

    The fact that you pounced on a typo like that so severely and with such homosexual gusto again further backs what I said.

    If my dog’s asshole smelled like my cock I probably wouldn’t be able to stop you from rimming it.

    Now quit using commas wrong and making a fool of yourself, limpdick


    So, “the the” is human error but a misplaced comma isn’t? Wow. You really do understand that you’ve really lost this one, right?

    TrAyVon'S GhOSt, nuCca

    Yet again you used a comma wrong. Say it was on purpose and you’re baiting me here. Please. Save yourself.

    Yes “the the” is a human error. The use of the comma and committing to it and defending it is not.

    You understand that you fail right?


    I neither committed to nor defended any of my comma errors. If you reread my post, I said mine was an error and that there was of course no way to go back and fix it, much like your own “the the” which I pointed out to show you the irony of your words. What’s really pathetic, though, is that—because you don’t know how to come off as intelligent or conciliatory when someone has schooled you in proper form and argumentation—you see fit to resort to ad hominem arguments which make you seem childish and ignorant, though that is no… Read more »


    The The was an awesome band. My girlfriend still listens to them all the time.

    TrAyVon'S GhOSt, nuCca

    It wasn’t the basis for an argument you braindead asshole. It was an illustration of how little I think of you. Bravo on your vocab. I bet you’re the most popular person in your grand 11 English class. Unfortunately you used the term ‘schooled’ and that solidifies you in the ranks of the gay and the retarded. Your spelling and vocabulary are bored and the knowledge of proper punctuation is near absent which clearly indicates you’re putting way too much effort into trying to combat me (who you have yet to do and will never do). I genuinely feel bad… Read more »

    TrAyVon'S GhOSt, nuCca

    before you blow your wad…I didn’t proofread that because…well why would I?

    Eat a dick.

    I’m sorry was that crass?

    Consume a sexual organ, monsieur.


    This amazing cake of godliness is making me orgasm. Ding ding, round 2!

    tiki god

    I hereby threadjack these comments to mention how amazed I am that this is seriously still going on.



    rattybad = 100 vs. mAgnUS BUTT = -1

    rattybad wins.


    Stumbled upon this via “Random Posts” (mainly because mine eye got snagged on a missing ‘t’ in the title) and am ever so pleased I did. It’s wonderfully illustrative of how bold some become with the net of anonymity beneath them. (Not to reopen an old wound, but I admire your restraint, rattybad. Well won.)

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