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All the time I see people replying with "of course I will" or "yes it is!" (to "it's not that good" and not placing a comma after "of course" and "yes". The second case seems even more extreme, as even placing a comma would not help - it would still be a comma splice.

However, if I do place the commas, the sentences will become very confusing, as many people would probably read that as "I will, of course" and "it is, yes".

Now, to me it seems that grammatically, there is no option but to leave the commas in place - though, again, this may cause confusion.

Any ideas?

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    Basic question: Do you pause anywhere when you say "Of course I don't"? – Hot Licks Jun 24 '16 at 12:30
  • No; how does that matter, though? @HotLicks – Max Jun 24 '16 at 15:48
  • The comma, first and foremost, represents a pause in the spoken language. – Hot Licks Jun 24 '16 at 17:27
  • @HotLicks I've seen just so many comma-is-a-pausers on this site; I'd say there even more of such than ones who prefer to follow punctuation rules. Obviously, this is not bad, but this probably proves that punctuation is dying out. If there are any rules as to when to use a comma then 'put a comma whenever you make a pause when speaking' is not one, I can guarantee. – Max Jun 24 '16 at 17:38
  • Why do you think there are pauses in speech? The pauses are often as semantically & syntactically significant as the words. There is a difference in meaning between "Let's eat, Grandma" and "Let's eat Grandma". – Hot Licks Jun 24 '16 at 17:47
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It's the old argument between how people actually talk or read text, and how it SHOULD be done. I agree the commas are necessary in academic writing, but leave it out in informal for better readability.

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  • So, if I write academic stuff, commas should be present? The thing is: I never ever seen a person place a comma there, which is what the problem is. – Max May 24 '16 at 22:23
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    I would say that it's uncommon to see those types of phrases in academic or formal writing. However, for grammar purposes, the commas are necessary. Another option could be to switch the phrase so that it may be "I will, of course" to make it easier to read. – timthebomb May 24 '16 at 22:27
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    Commas adversely effect readability? – Kris Jun 24 '16 at 7:00
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    "Are you an idiot?" "Of course, I'm not." -- do you see the problem with that? – Hot Licks Jun 24 '16 at 17:29

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