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Isn't OK, thanks a comma splice? What is the reason for this being the typical form?

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    This is spoken English, not written. Punctuation only applies to writing. – John Lawler May 31 '16 at 21:17
  • Even if this were a comma splice, which is up for debate really, but even if it were, a comma splice is not wrong per se, so I'm not quite sure where you're going with this. It's just a label for a thing that exists. And we have that dedicated label precisely because it's a common thing to see. "Isn't cat a noun?" Well, yes. Now what. Why do we need to fix that. – RegDwigнt Jun 17 '18 at 17:40
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OK, thanks is a comma splice and is the typical form. I would say that the reason it is used over OK; thanks is simply convention. Semicolons are rarely seen in English writing, news articles or conversational writing such as emails. I only ever really use semicolons to separate email addresses.

However, (comma :) having said that, I've noticed a few recent blog posts on the use of semicolons which lead me to believe that semicolons should be used more frequently. The best summary is here:

An Easy Way To Know When (And How) To Use A Semicolon

  1. THEY FORM CONNECTIONS BETWEEN SEPARATE SENTENCES.
  2. THEY CAN REPLACE COORDINATING CONJUNCTIONS.
  3. SEMICOLONS CAN BE USED AS SUPER COMMAS.

So in the cited example and using the "rules", then "OK, thanks" is (perhaps :) the correct usage here because the full sentence is "I agree on your point and thank you for it".

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  • Is it really a comma splice? Compare "See, I told you" or "Say, this is pretty good" or "What, me worry?" or "Hello, what's all this then" – Nick Matteo Jun 14 '16 at 15:11
  • No, “OK, thanks” is not a comma splice. A comma splice is using a comma to join two independent clauses, and neither “OK” nor “thanks” is an independent clause—they are both exclamations—so there’s nothing wrong with using a comma. You can also use a semicolon or even a full stop or an ellipsis if you wish to imply a longer pause; but that’s effect-based punctuation, not syntax-based. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 17 '18 at 9:26

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