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The importance of commas

I saw a blogpost entitled "Can a Comma Be Antisemitic?" So of course, I had to read it.
You can find the original post at And it's fascinating. The question is:

What's the difference between
"The Jews, who persecuted the Lord, drove us out" and
"The Jews who persecuted the Lord drove us out."

Or equivalently, what's the difference between
"We have to throw out apples, which are wormy" and
"We have to throw out apples which are wormy"?

The article explains how the comma makes all the difference between a restrictive and a nonrestrictive clause. In the first (apple) case, all apples are wormy and must be thrown out. In the second, we restrict ourselves to discarding wormy apples - a much more sensible idea. (And in 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15, those commas really might be misplaced.)

In the Bible, commas matter!
In writing,  commas matter!
And in editing, commas matter too!

So now, having learned from a very cool example, I shall watch for them and treat them with care!

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