Yes, I know it's important to use commas and other punctuation correctly. As a schoolteacher, sometimes I'm in the position of making sure other people use it correctly. But my latest beta-reader has flagged a few places in my manuscript where I perpetrate comma splices, and . . . Yes, officially they're wrong. But somehow I can't make them go away--- or I just don't want them to. They're always in direct or indirect speech. In one case the speaker is an 11-year-old boy; in the other it's the same character as a grown man who's just averted the murder of someone he cares deeply about. I want his speech (or the narration through his POV) to be run-on and helter-skelter. I don't want it all chopped up and halty with periods. And semicolons strike me as way too urbane and self-controlled for these scenes. Maybe I'm looking for pardon for a sin I'm still committing. But has anyone seen comma splices used in an effective way in a published work? If I leave them in I want the reader to understand they were there on purpose, not because I was too stupid to know better.