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Could somebody post the most basic punctuation rules, the ones that we should all respect?
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I was always told to "keep punctuation to a minimum!". Apparently native English speakers use too much in their writing.
As far as I'm concerned, the most important punctuation rule is that the comma splice should be avoided. It is an evil, evil, evil, evil thing. It is the bane of my existence.
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"You have to be cruel to be kind"
"It is an evil, evil, evil, evil thing."

This is not a comma splice. I don't know what it's called, but I certainly don't see two independent clauses here. Also, in writing, this (evil, evil, evil, evil) can easily be avoided because writing this way makes writing carry a conversational tone. However, I guess this is acceptable if you can (try hard to) weave it to create a good stylistic effect on paper.
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Oh, yes yes, I know. I wasn't trying to be witty by committing my own error; I was merely expressing my hatred of the comma splice. (Note the semicolon in the previous sentence... you see?Emotion: wink)
The evil, evil, etc. thing is not technically wrong, merely redundant and kind of stupid. As you said, it's a conversational thing, and that's how I was using it. I find it sort of quaint.
Do you know what it's called though? I would really like to know because learning new stuff is fun (haha, the geeky side in me is kicking again lol)! I used some stupid techniques when I write my essay, such as purposely making two sentences redundant side by side. I guess it's nice to break those stupid grammar rules every once in a while.

BTW, I hope you didn't take my post in a negative way because it's really hard to convey emotions by reading ASCII characters.
Oh, no worries. I'm not as snivelly as all that.Emotion: wink
I don't think it has a name. As I said, it's not a grammatical error, really, but merely a stylistic error. I would just call it redundancy, myself.
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