Can't Sweat the Commas

by Joe Whalen

My wife is an editor; I’m a writer. In other words: she has the final say. So when I agree to submit work to her it’s vital that — instead of sitting on pins and needles during the interminable wait — I prepare rebuttals in advance of the red ink certain to splash across my Microsoft Word document in the form of track changes and comments. I have to keep the big picture in mind and pick my battles wisely and always remember that marriage is a long-term commitment and that I should allow myself the liberty to break rules of grammar only when absolutely necessary. You can’t sweat the commas. For now as a matter of fact I think I’m doing a pretty good job avoiding them altogether.


Joe Whalen is a sportswriter who lives in New Jersey with his wife Katherine and their rescue pooch Lucy. He likes to hike and climb mountains. And he actually appreciates a good, well-placed comma.