comma splice or clause coordination: All races are..., all use the...

Karen123456

Senior Member
Malaysia English
All races are given equal treatment, all use the English language, it is a common platform, nobody gets an advantage and it is also the language which has enabled us to connect to the world and get investments in.

To me, the above has comma splice. I find the sentence is separated by too many commas. I think more periods are needed.

Am I correct in my analysis?

Thanks.
 
Last edited:
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    No, there is no comma splice. The sentence is a coordination of five main clauses, the last of which is separated by 'and' rather than a comma. A perfectly normal structure, in other words.

    A coordination of five things may be rather long, but that surely is a matter of how long each of the things is. These are all short, clear clauses apart from the last one.

    The problem I see with it is that in the fifth clause 'it' appears to have as its antecedent the object of the second clause ('the English language'). That might not be bad on its own ('John made a sandwich and Mary ate it'), but between them there is an 'it' that appears to get its reference by context: a previous sentence perhaps.

    So there is a problem with pronouns, not with commas, but it can only be fixed by recasting some of the clauses.
     

    -mack-

    Senior Member
    American English
    If a clause is a complete sentence on its own, it's an independent clause; a semicolon is required to link two independent clauses. If more than two independent clauses are to be linked, the sentence should probably be rewritten such that commas are sufficient or repunctuated using a period or two. ;)

    That said, I agree partially with the poster above me. It's really a list. A colon after the first clause would make the meaning much more clear. In addition there are some grammatical/syntax errors.

    So it's a list, yet still a mess and badly in need of rewording.
     
    I agree with -mack-, but I think this might be an AE/BE difference. I have observed that BE speakers seem to be more comfortable linking independent clauses with commas than I would be (which is to say, comfortable at all - to me, it's a comma splice). There's got be a thread on this trans-Atlantic difference somewhere at WRF.

    In the original sentence, I am bothered even more by the commas because the clauses have difference subjects. When a series of independent clauses all have the same subject - perhaps for emphasis or effect - commas could work for me:

    He finished breakfast, he took a shower, he walked the dog, and he left for work.

    But:

    The breakfast dishes were washed; he took a shower; the dog got her daily walk; and finally he left for work.

    Setting up that last sentence with commas instead of semicolons would be messy and, to me, incorrect. Am I being overly strict?
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    No, there is no comma splice. The sentence is a coordination of five main clauses, the last of which is separated by 'and' rather than a comma. A perfectly normal structure, in other words.
    I agree that it is structurally fine (A, B, C, D, and E), but the way that the individual independent clauses are unrelated negates the point of joining them in this fashion, i.e. I would join any of those things with "and".
     

    Karen123456

    Senior Member
    Malaysia English
    I agree that it is structurally fine (A, B, C, D, and E), but the way that the individual independent clauses are unrelated negates the point of joining them in this fashion, i.e. I would join any of those things with "and".

    Thanks, Myridon. I don't understand the sentence in bold. What do you mean by joining with 'and'?
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I suspect, but cannot be sure as Myridon is offline at the moment, that there is a missing word in Myridon's post. I think it should have a "not":
    I agree that it is structurally fine (A, B, C, D, and E), but the way that the individual independent clauses are unrelated negates the point of joining them in this fashion, i.e. I would not join any of those things with "and".
    Taking into account the structure of the sentence, I am sure it should be there. It does not make sense to link unrelated clauses with "and".
     

    Karen123456

    Senior Member
    Malaysia English
    Thanks, Panjandrum.

    Your reply makes sense. Sorry for bumping but I was surprised that Myridon did not respond to my question.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Yes, I meant to put a "not" in that sentence. Thanks, Panjandrum.
    Even if you were to break it up with periods, it sounds like at least 2 people speaking at once. One person is saying All... All... Nobody... while the other is talking over him It is... It is... :)
     
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