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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.

A blank canvas. It can be an exciting prospect if you’re an artist and there are no rules, you can fill the canvas with your imagination’s strangest, wildest, weirdest, most beautiful ideas.

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