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A scene called for inert dummy cartridges fitted with bullets, but no powder or primer, to be loaded in the revolver.
A scene called for inert dummy cartridges fitted with bullets, no powder or primer, to be loaded in the revolver.

What would you call the information in the commas? Non-essential?
Is the usage of the conjunction 'but' optional, as it's not serving as any kind of conjunction is it ?



Is this a comma splice ? Or is 'factors' the start of a dependent clause or phrase.

Most employers would say that qualifications are not necessarily the best measure of potential, factors like character and personality are just as important.

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( As a matter of interest, a blank cartridge has powder but no bullet. It just makes a bang. I don't know what purpose a cartridge with a bullet but no powder would serve. But meaning and grammar are two different things. )


A scene called for inert dummy cartridges fitted with bullets, but no powder or primer, to be loaded in the revolver.
A scene called for inert dummy cartridges fitted with bullets, no powder or primer, to be loaded in the revolver.

What would you call the information in the commas? Non-essential? The commas suggest it is non-essential, but when I consider the writer's probable intention it seems to me to be essential, so I'd remove both commas.
Is the usage of the conjunction 'but' optional, as it's not serving as any kind of conjunction is it ? It seems essential to me. It contrasts the two phrases, ie fitted with bullets but (with) no powder or primer.

A simpler example is eg He wore a shirt but no tie.

Note that a conjunction can join two phrases. It does not just join two clauses.


If you delete 'but', the phrase 'no powder or primer' really becomes an interjection, eg A scene called for inert dummy cartridges fitted with bullets ---- no powder or primer --- to be loaded in the revolver.

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Is this a comma splice ? Yes.. Or is 'factors' the start of a dependent clause or phrase. No.

Most employers would say that qualifications are not necessarily the best measure of potential, factors like character and personality are just as important.


Clive

Comments  

You're right. The context the sentence was taken from was related to film usage/stage.