Wave Walker DSP

DSP Algorithms for RF Systems


Buy the Book!

DSP for Beginners: Simple Explanations for Complex Numbers! The second edition includes a new chapter on complex sinusoids.

Stop Using Too Many Commas to be a Better Writer
March 30, 2022

Table of Contents


Too many commas destroys the flow of a sentence. I know because I use too many commas. Each comma acts as a pause and too many commas makes good writing sound sluggish and boring.

The problem arises because I write as I’m thinking (I almost put a comma here!) and I put a comma when I need to take a thought break in the middle of sentence. However, you don’t want your reader to have a thought break. You want your reader to flow through your thoughts without a break in concentration. Using too many commas is an easy way to hamper otherwise excellent writing.

In writing the two paragraphs above I removed, or stopped myself from writing, 4-5 commas alone!

Using too many commas be like ...
Using too many commas be like ...

The Quick Brown Fox

Too many commas can cripple the flow of a sentence. Here are two simple sentences, see which you like better:

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy brown dog.

The quick, brown fox jumps over the lazy, brown dog.

I prefer the comma-less version. Here’s how I read a sentence with commas:

The quick, <breath> brown fox jumps over the lazy, <breath> brown dog.

The sentence is too sluggish! Remove the commas.

Declaration of Independence

Here’s another block of text, the opening paragraph of the Declaration of Independence. Here’s how I read it:

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, <breath> When in the Course of human events, <breath> it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, <breath> and to assume among the powers of the earth, <breath> the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, <breath> a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Too many commas Tom! It would be much better off as multiple sentences.

Using Fewer Commas

Commas are good for communicating multiple items in a list:

Can you please buy ketchup, mustard, relish and mayonnaise at the grocery store?

Commas are bad at connecting two sentences that otherwise should be separate:

I went to the grocery store, and am getting a haircut tomorrow.

I went to the grocery store. I am getting a haircut tomorrow.


Using too many commas can make writing sluggish and boring. Remove commas if they are unnecessary. Break longer sentences into shorter ones.

Check out these other blogs about office life:

Leave a Reply

God, the Lord, is my strength; He makes my feet like the deer's; He makes me tread on my high places. Habakkuk 3:19
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together. A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing. Ecclesiastes 3:1,5
The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Genesis 1:2
Behold, I am toward God as you are; I too was pinched off from a piece of clay. Job 33:6
Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His name! Psalm 100:4
Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the Lord! Psalm 134:2
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8
He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-39
Then He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live." Ezekiel 37:4-5
Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. Proverbs 11:4
The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Exodus 3:2-3
Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding." Daniel 2:20-21
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17
Previous slide
Next slide

This website participates in the Amazon Associates program. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

© 2021-2024 Wave Walker DSP