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  1. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    Punctuation Comma to replace an implied 'that'?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by dillseed, May 11, 2014.

    Here's the sentence:

    "The ice cream was so cold, I had to stop eating it."

    I don't think the comma should be there, so it would read like this:

    "The ice cream was so cold I had to stop eating it."

    Do you think 'that' needs to be there?

    "The ice cream was so cold that I had to stop eating it."

    I see this all the time when I'm copyediting, and I've been fixing it differently depending on author needs. But I'd like to know if there is a rule about this. Thanks!
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    no comma is called for...

    and 'that' is seldom really needed... should be used sparingly, only when a sentence won't make sense without it...

    i hope you'll pardon my curiosity [nosyness?], but if you're a professional writing services provider who's editing [fee-paying?] clients' work, why do you need to ask so many 'editing basics' questions?

    no offense intended, just wondering...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  3. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    I'm not a professional writing services provider/editor. I've proofed thousands of investigation reports at my old job (I was chosen by my boss to do so because he couldn't). This is merely an obsessive-compulsive labor of love of mine. :)
     
  4. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    I have interacted via email with some of the best in the industry: William Sabin, Chicago's panel of experts, Dan Persinger, Roger Darlington, Ben Yagoda, Tina Blue, Rich Turner (a.k.a. “The Grammar Curmudgeon”), Charles Harper (better known as "Mr. Micawber"), et al—and yet, I still have questions! I will master every single, solitary aspect of grammar and punctuation before my number is called one day. I just wish I could earn some money doing something I love and have such a monomaniacal passion for. Oh, well . . . :-(
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
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  5. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    I, for one, (commas necessary) have been enjoying your recent slew of technical questions. They've made me think about stuff I hadn't really thought of before. Keep it up.
     
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  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ah, so!

    sorry for the incorrect assumption, dill... i thought your mention of 'copyediting' and 'author needs' referred to doing it on a client/services provider basis...
     
  7. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    I found this in The Gregg Reference Manual, 11th Edition. Thought I'd share. :)

    Omission of That
    In some sentences the omission of the conjunction that creates a definite break in the flow of the sentence. In such cases insert a comma to mark the break.

    • Remember, this offer is good only through May 31.
    • The problem is, not all of these assumptions may be correct.
    • The fact is, things are not working out as we had hoped.
    • Chances are, the deal will never come off.

    In sentences that are introduced by expressions such as he said, she thinks, we feel or they know, the conjunction that is often omitted following the introductory expression.

    • We know you can do it.
    • They think our price is too high.
    • She said she would handle everything.
    • We believe we offer the best service.
    • I heard you were moving back North.
    • He's so incompetent he couldn't organize a two-car funeral.

    Note: Do not omit that if a misreading is possible.

    CONFUSING: Researchers have found some medications, even though approved, carry unforeseen risks. (When that is omitted, you might initially mistake some medications as the object of have foundrather than as the subject of a relative clause.)

    CLEAR: Researchers have found that some medications, even though approved, carry unforeseen risks.
     
  8. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    You really want to screw with that sentence? Try: Researchers have found some medications, even though approved, that carry unforseen risks.
     
  9. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, exactly.

    I just hope nobody who detests the study of grammar and usage ever waddles onto these pages by mistake. They'll go screaming off into the hills, and never come back! Hmm...that might have its up side...?
     
  10. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    LOL!
     

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