Finding and fixing the dreaded comma splice

Has stream-of-consciousness discourse brought this violation into widespread use, or do the violators simply not understand how sentence structure works?

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There’s a nasty little punctuation habit that instantly gives your age away.

It’s called the comma splice, and I’ve noticed it’s mostly used by writers under age 35.

I don’t blame them for not being able to punctuate properly. After all, it’s not their fault they were unfortunate enough to go to school after it was decided grammar was surplus to the requirements of a rounded education.

Still, of all the punctuation crimes out there, the comma splice upsets me the most.

I’ll explain why later, but first, for all you youngsters out there, what is a comma splice?

Simple: It’s when a comma is used to connect two independent clauses, an independent clause being a group of words that can stand by itself as a separate sentence.

Here are two examples I came across in a magazine recently:

Summer in Rome is always great fun, here are our suggestions for you to make the most of it.

Lastly, we should mention the Protestant cemetery in Testaccio, although a little bit of a walk from Trastevere, this hidden treasure is well worth a visit.

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