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What One Little Comma Can Do

Updated on May 4, 2010

What One Little Comma Can Do!

On my way to work this morning I started thinking about the lowly, little comma.

Yep, little, but might!

It is amazing how one tiny , on a page can change a meaning, a thought, possibly a life, or even the after life, as we know it!

I remember way back when, and I will not tell you how way back, I was sitting in my journalism class. The instructor walked to the front of the classroom and wrote up on the chalk board these words … woman without her man is beast

He turned around with a big grin and said, “I want you all to punctuate this sentence, but I warn you boys, I warn you girls, how you do, will reveal a lot of who you are and the way you think.”

So … STOP right now, dear reader, before you go on. How would you punctuate this sentence? … woman without her man is beast …

There are two right answers, depending where your thinking is.

#1. Woman, without her, man is beast. ( Man is beast, without his woman.)

#2. Woman without her man, is beast. ( A woman is a beast, without her man.)

What did YOU put? Who’s the beast? Man or Woman?


One day I was listening to a live, local radio station. In between songs the DJ was full of enthusiasm as he read …

“Don’t forget the picnic at our Down Town Park! There will be hamburgers and hotdogs on sale for just a dollar and FREE beer for the kids! … What??? Oh … Wait! … No … I mean … hotdogs and free beer, for the kids, pony rides!”

Oops … What a difference one little , can make!


But, on a more serious note, consider the words of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ as he hung from the cross.

To the man on the cross beside him, Jesus said the words …

“I say to you today you will be with me in Heaven.”

It was a scribe who put in the punctuation

Did Jesus say

“I say to you, today you will be with me in Heaven.”


“I say to you today, you will be with me in heaven.”

Think about it …

One says …

TODAY you will be in Heaven with me.

The other says …

I am telling you right now today, at some point, you’re going to Heaven.

God bless


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    • Moneylady profile image

      Moneylady 7 years ago from Texas

      Hi Arlecchino ... Who is the beast? Where did you put the comma??? Only you know for sure. Smiles back at ya!

    • Arlecchino profile image

      Arlecchino 7 years ago from Top of the Cloud

      Great hub! I enjoyed reading it and caught smile on my face - Who is the beast! Thumb up!

    • Moneylady profile image

      Moneylady 7 years ago from Texas

      Thank you SO much jill of alltrades! Hope you enjoyed BTL Illustrations too ... Tell all your friends who are writers that he wants to help them promote their books! Have a GREAT day!

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines

      I love this hub! What a wonderful way to show the importance of a comma! Simply wonderful!

      I am happy to be reacquainted with your work through BTL Illustrations.

    • Computerrecording profile image

      Computerrecording 7 years ago

      I think that the man on the side of Jesus saw Jesus TODAY from his own perspective. Jesus is not bound by time and space. When we die , We dont wait in the grave until the resurrection . When we die, from our perspective we will be instantaneously resurrected in that year that Jesus comes back to earth. :-)

      Just a thought .

      btw nice hubs :-)

    • Moneylady profile image

      Moneylady 7 years ago from Texas

      Just a few Quill ,,, and I enjoyed EVERY minute of it!!!!

    • profile image

      "Quill" 7 years ago

      The comma is a special little tool which if used properly can change the meaning of anything. The father knows how many of mine you corrected Sister.

      Special Hugs

    • Moneylady profile image

      Moneylady 7 years ago from Texas

      Thanks proudgrandpa and Nemingha for Stopping by ,,, To tell the truth , I'm not sure when to use , or ; (Thank God for spell check!) and I really get confused on the little ' . Is it before 's or after an s' or is it no ' at all??? Did ya notice ... Spell check can't even figure THAT out! Well, that's it for now. Have a GREAT day !

    • Nemingha profile image

      Nemingha 7 years ago

      Nice hub! That little , sure does a lot!

    • profile image

      proudgrandpa 7 years ago

      I am a chronic comma over user. I think there should have been a comma in there somewhere. Neat hub. NEIL

    • Moneylady profile image

      Moneylady 7 years ago from Texas

      Thank you advisor4qb, glad you like it!

    • advisor4qb profile image

      advisor4qb 7 years ago from On New Footing

      I love this hub!