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Friday, May 22, 2009

Run-ons and on, and on, and on, and ...

A run-on sentence is one that has too many subjects, too many verbs, too many adjectives and adverbs, too much punctuation, or, to put it simply, too much stuff and way too many points so that your reader ends up getting totally lost and overwhelmed even though you think that what you are doing is providing your reader will all kinds of really good information, so good in fact, that you have to get it all out as fast as you can which is what results in the really long, obnoxious sentence that in grammatical terms, is called a “run-on”.

Phew! Take a breath! Now try to read that sentence out loud. YUCK!

Let’s rewrite it so that is becomes a paragraph with good, complete, yet simple sentences:

A run-on sentence is one that has too many subjects, verbs, adjectives and adverbs, as well as too much punctuation. To put it simply, a run-on sentence has too much stuff and way too many points. The result of a run-on sentence is that your reader ends up getting totally lost and overwhelmed. While you may think that you are providing your reader will all kinds of valuable information, in reality, only end up with long, obnoxious sentence that in grammatical terms, is called a “run-on”.

The old acronym comes in very handy as your basic rule to avoid run-ons: Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS)!

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