I read an article online, and the article has the following sentence.

I love the city and I have a special fondness for the people of Lafayette

How come the writer did not separate the two sentences with a comma between (city & and)? Also at work I see a lot of of my colleagues write with a similar style. Is there a reason for writing in that style, or is it just grammatically incorrect? Please advise.

  • It is merely a compound sentence. It could have been written without the second I. – Lambie Jan 18 '17 at 18:05
  • A ferocious adherent of Warriner might insist that a comma separate the two independent clauses of a compound sentence, but it's often omitted when the clauses are brief as these are. – Rob_Ster Jan 18 '17 at 18:27
  • @Rob_Ster Is Warriner famously prescriptive across the board? – Edwin Ashworth Jan 20 '17 at 9:24
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    @EdwinAshworth - I would say so, although "across the board" cuts a pretty wide swath. It was a venerable text when I started teaching four decades ago. It still serves - as I confess I sometimes do - as combination of authority and historical curiosity. Warriner takes few prisoners, rendering unequivocal rulings on quite a range of fundamental issues. Cheers! – Rob_Ster Jan 20 '17 at 13:11

Although Rob's comment is correct--two short independent clauses joined by a conjunction sometimes omits a comma--it is sloppy and risks upsetting somebody. However, what's worse in your example is it creates ambiguity in the reading frame as follows

I love the city and I

Of course this isn't grammatically correct either, but the writer doesn't want the reader to have to re-read for clarity. So your qiestion's answer is No, it's not "necessary" but make sure your sentence's meaning remains clear and concise.

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    I don't accept that it's always sloppy. A comma is sometimes an intrusion. Writingcommons.org gives better advice: 'You do not need to place a comma between two independent clauses [joined by a coordinator] if they are short and similar in meaning, provided that no misunderstanding will take place.' – Edwin Ashworth Jan 20 '17 at 9:30

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