The Iraq war is like . . . a comma

October 5, 2006 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: journalism.

Once again, commas are in the news.

Well, make that once in a blue moon.

In a speech the other day, George W. Bush said that eventually the war in Iraq would be seen as “just a comma” in the history books. He didn’t offer any explanation for what he meant, and his detractors have pounced, claiming that he is trivializing a war that he began and that has cost the lives of more than 2,500 soldiers. (Here is the Washington Post story on all of this.)

I’m not sure what he meant either, but as a card-carrying grammarian, I’m pretty sure that commas are important — probably more important than Bush or his detractors seem to think.

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