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I came across these two sentences whilst editing today, and wondered what your opinions on the correct variations would be:

They're great, I love them.
vs.
They're great; I love them.
vs.
They're great. I love them.

And

She grew up acting and singing; treading the boards.
vs.
She grew up acting and singing, treading the boards.

I'm not averse to comma splicing, and as it's a piece of website copy it may indeed be appropriately vocative, but would love your opinions on the correct constructions.

6
  • 2
    If you're not averse to comma splicing, what do you mean by "correct"?
    – cruthers
    Jan 1, 2022 at 17:23
  • 1
    This is a comma splice: They're great, I love them. This is not: She grew up acting and singing, treading the boards. This is incorrect: She grew up acting and singing; treading the boards. Jan 1, 2022 at 17:51
  • Correctness would depend on formality of source: a sales website is very different to a university or government one. But if you're happy with comma splices, the question seems based in opinion not grammar.
    – Stuart F
    Jan 1, 2022 at 18:48
  • Thank-you @TinfoilHat, this is the kind of response that I was hoping for.
    – MSR
    Jan 1, 2022 at 19:02
  • Related.
    – Robusto
    Jan 1, 2022 at 19:30

1 Answer 1

-1

They're great. I love them.

seems to indicate clipped speech, or a bit of hostility.

They're great; I love them.

works, but a semicolon is better used for a pause when a comma doesn't work, or cause and effect, like "He began eating a lot and not exercising; he gained a lot of weight." or "It's no wonder the airplane doesn't fly very well; it doesn't have wings." (A "-" could also work in the place of the semicolon in this sentence).

They're great, I love them.

seems the best option.

She grew up acting and singing; treading the boards

works better because "treading the boards" is an attribute gained from acting and singing; she was "treading the boards" because she was acting and singing.

2
  • I can't think of a circumstance where "They're great. I love them." could be hostile. Jan 1, 2022 at 18:15
  • I've downvoted because this would be a very unusual use of a semicolon. I see 'treading the boards' as a reformulation and/or expansion of 'acting and singing', where a comma is fine, or a dash for a reformulation. Jan 1, 2022 at 19:35

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