by Illona de Wit

Mr Comma… who is Mr Comma anyway? He was kind when I was in high school. I never felt threatened by him. He never posed a problem in the English class, and walked past me during exams with little commotion. I, therefore, never took much notice of him. He was quite a dull character, or so I thought.

Twenty years later, and it is a different story.  I have enrolled in a course to sharpen my English writing, and here he rocks up during one of the modules.

You would think that he would have the courtesy to greet me and be friendly. Oh no! His attitude was bitter towards me after all these years. Unforgiveness is at an all-time high! What an unsympathetic character!

How could I have passed my English exam in Grade 12, without getting victory over him? Mr Bones in Grade 12 muttered, ‘It is easy! Write a comma between a list of adjectives and after a slight pause.’ 

‘What pause?’ I thought. Still, I knew enough to pass. Now, in retrospect, I have to conclude that it must have been my other subjects that pushed me through high school.

After a season of changing nappies, I must enter the arena once again, to get victory over him. It’s been a sharp learning curve.

I have discovered his certain peculiar characteristics. He doesn’t like to stand on his own, and prefers a crowd around him. He collects attention in the introduction of sentences and announces quoted speech. He is definitely more of an extrovert at heart. How will I pacify him?

I think it would be best to visit him on a regular basis.

Read the rules of Mr Comma here.