Nightmarish rituals crave a newborn. Find one, and silence its harrowing cry.

Why was a comma placed after Find one? The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation says,

If the subject does not appear in front of the second verb, a comma is generally unnecessary.

Sometimes, a comma is better to use for clarity's sake, but Find one and silence its harrowing cry is clear enough without the comma, so why was it included?


To invite the reader to pause after find one. Punctuation is not only about what is necessary. The admonition to "find one" deserves its own attention, before going on to the next thought. A lot of punctuation is about style. This one involves the art of writing, presumably.

  • Is that grammatically correct to do, though? – user148755 Apr 30 '17 at 23:57
  • Yes it is "grammatically correct". Grammar and punctuation rarely intersect, though. – AmE speaker Apr 30 '17 at 23:59
  • 1
    I meant punctually correct. – user148755 May 1 '17 at 0:02
  • Yes, it is............. – AmE speaker May 1 '17 at 0:04

Find one, and silence its harrowing cry.

In this sentence, the comma is used after the first independent clause and is used to join it with the other clause using coordination conjunction and.

Because the sentence is short and easily understandable; the comma can be omitted in this case. Your sentence then becomes:

Find one and silence its harrowing cry.


The comma used here is strange but correct. The important part of the sentence is "silence its harrowing cry". However, whenever you use the word 'and' you need to make sure the two words that are linking are words that are suppose to link. Example: I kiss and hugged my mother (linked) ... as opposed to... I kiss and had a drink with my father (not linked. Therefore, not what you really want to say).

Nightmarish rituals crave a newborn. Find one, and silence its harrowing cry.

The person doesn't need to tell you to find one in this sentence. You are being told to find one as and additive or a concern that this direction must be followed. It's like telling you to jump when the only way to do it is to jump and slam dunk a basketball in the hoop (something we all know).
Find one is used like a 'henceforth' or a 'From this point' but given to you bluntly "Find one" but don't link it to "silence" because if you don't find one you can't proceed anyways.

Look at it this way:

Nightmarish rituals crave a newborn. Silence its harrowing cry. (this is all that's really needed therefore the addition was added help and grammatically correct)

English has rules. Once you learn the rules, English is easier to understand. Most people just don't know the rules and write more relaxed.

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