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Archive for the ‘Language’ Category

The Subtlety of the Comma

Sometimes, commas can very important and their presence or absence can make a huge difference in meaning (and effect).

1. His mind was occupied with other, internal goals.
2. His mind was occupied with other internal goals.

1 means that the goals with which his mind was occupied were different from those that one might expect; also, such goals were of an internal nature, not of an external one.
2 means that his mind was occupied with internal goals, which were different from the internal goals described earlier on and/or occupying someone else’s mind.

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posthumous prize = awarded to one after one’s departure from this world
post-hummus prize = awarded after eating that particular delight

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