Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Wine Class....or Whine Class...?

As of last Monday, I started my next set of classes which includes an English Writing class and a Wine and Beverage class.

Initially, the idea of writing prose whilst drinking the day away (wine tasting) sounded like a superb idea. However, after the first week, we all quickly realize that our concept of these classes was a little distorted.

I am now a complete aficionado on the history of wine making, vineyards, varietals and the exact procedure for corporate wine-making, whether I wanted to be or not. While it has a feeling of sophistication, I must say that, for me, the subject is rather a bore. Today is our first day of actually tasting wine, which I'm actually not a fan of really, and I guess we shall see where that takes us.

English writing was just about what I thought it would be, but a little less exciting. Not only am I reviewing things I feel I know to the bottom of my soul, this particular class has it's irksome quirks as well. While I adore the instructor's constant gabble and storytelling, yesterday we came upon the dreaded subject of the redundant comma and now the nightmare begins.

"To comma, or not to comma?" That is the question.

I personally feel it's often a bit redundant to include a comma before a conjunction connecting two independent clauses. And according to our book, it's a judgement call. Our instructor teaches this as the proper use of a comma. However, to his praise, when I asked if we would be poorly graded for not doing so, he said he would not be too picky about it as it's clearly a debatable. Hurrah!

What's your prognosis?

P.S. I still need more votes for my scholarship video: http://www.tonnino.com/challenge/tannos-tonnino-tuna-treasure


  1. I believe commas should be used whenever necessary for clarity. Sometimes the conjuction is an integral part of the last item on the list, and the lack of comma makes that clear. Sometimes it isn't, so the comma indicates that.

    Sandwiches we offer today:
    Turkey, ham, roast beef, tuna salad, peanut butter and jelly
    A la carte items:
    Muffin, toast, sausage, bacon, and eggs

    It is clear that the "peanut butter and jelly" go together, while the "bacon and eggs" do not.

  2. Monday's Child is quite right. However, aside from using commas to set off a series of items, the real problem is THE TERRIBLE COMMA SPLICE! If you violate this rule, you belong in comma prison.

    "I love politics. I hate politicians."
    Boring, but okay.

    "I love politics, I hate politicians."

    Fortunately, our planet has conjunctions:

    "I love politics, but I hate politicians."

    PS: English teachers have no lives.

  3. Hehe....this cheered up my day. Thanks.

  4. Let me know when he gets to the proper use of the apostrophe.


  5. Myownigloo: Any time. Let me know!