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“Sub” is a Latin prefix meaning “beneath.” A subordinate is an individual who is lower in rank than someone else. A subway is a transport system that’s underground. A submarine travels below the surface of the water. A subcompact is a car that is even smaller than a compact car. You get the idea.

One technique for fixing a comma splice is to take the simple step of exchanging the comma for a period or a semicolon or a colon. Each of these three punctuation marks is accepted by grammarians as strong enough to mediate between two sentences. But what messages are writers sending when they use one of these punctuation marks versus another?

In my last blog, I wrote about the comma splice and the three possible corrections writers can apply. But it’s worth taking the time to examine those solutions in more detail.

Perhaps you’ve been asked to write a review of a book or a work of art. Or perhaps you’ve been asked to write about a proposed change in law or an event in history. Or you might have been asked to write about the ethics of a philosophy such as vegetarianism. All of these topics invite you to have an opinion and to make a critical analysis in support of that opinion.

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