1. Published on Amazon? If you have a book, e-book, or audiobook available on Amazon.com, we'll promote it on WritingForums.org for free. Simply add your book to our Member Publications section. Add your book here or read the full announcement.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice
Tags:
  1. Auroral3orealis

    Auroral3orealis New Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Punctuation: comma

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Auroral3orealis, May 26, 2010.

    Hey everyone,

    So, I was reading T.S.Eliot's The Ash Wednesday, which I've been in love with for years, and I came across this: "But to what purpose disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves I do not know."
    Now, I am too much of a pedant when it comes to punctuation. Does the sentence need a comma after "rose-leaves" or not?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,953
    Likes Received:
    2,066
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    If anything, I would say a question mark. But I would grant T. S. Eliot poetic license without hesitation.
     
  3. Auroral3orealis

    Auroral3orealis New Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for your reply.
    It felt weird without a comma because there is a pause after "rose-leaves", and when there is a pause, there is a comma--usually. However, "But to what purpose disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves" is a full question. It is independent, so you can't add "I do not know", which is an independent clause itself, to it. The result would be a comma splice.
     

Share This Page