Comma Abusing And Pen Names

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Confessions of a comma abuser

I am a proud, serial, comma abuser. Really, I am. If you didn’t notice then that’s because you’re worse than I am. Or you don’t know any better. Either way.

I don’t always know when I’m breaking the comma rules, but often I do. For example, I use the comma whenever there’s supposed to be a pause in my statements. I suppose that instead I could use an ellipsis like … and the way I learned it is if you are using it to end a sentence, then you use four …. and sometimes I do, but I often use the comma.

Examples of comma use

You also use commas around optional phrases, meaning that if you omit the comma-bracketed phrase, the meaning of the sentence really doesn’t change. So for example, in the sentence “I could always use this, or maybe not, to get my desired results” is essentially the same as “I could always use this to get my desired results”. Now this example is really, really poor because in this case the phrase “or maybe not” could be a part of the person’s sense of humor. Hey, gimme a break, it’s really hard to think of bullet-proof examples “on the fly”, so to speak.

How grammar applies to marketing

I’ll bet you didn’t think you’d be getting a grammar lesson for marketing, did you?

The bottom line is, nothing smells like “rip-off” more effectively than bad grammar and horrible spelling. “You barely can read or write the English language and you want to sell me a series on article marketing???” I don’t think so.

On to using pen names

Do you use a pen name? Stephen King and Anne Rice use pen names for some of their books. There’s reasons to use a pen name in book writing, maybe you want to keep your “author” life and your “personal” life separate. Some celebrities have a “stage name” instead of their real name for that reason.

Sometimes it’s because they (authors, not actors) want one name to be well known for one genre, like horror, and a different name for a different genre so people don’t get confused. BTW, did you notice how “like horror” is a disposable phrase? Why can’t I think of those things when I actually need them?

Why some use pen names in marketing

In marketing there’s similar reasons as well, like a new name for each niche perhaps, but one of the most ominous reasons is competition. You don’t want your competitors to see every niche you’re in. Some will try to get them banned by turning in false accusations, or if you do black hat, genuine accusations. Sometimes they’ll jump into every arena you’re in just to give you a headache.

Sometimes it’s perception, like how can a person be an expert in “X” if they also are in “Y” and “Z”? Never mind the fact that people usually have more than one thing they know about. A person can know about auto mechanics, the internet, and gardening. There’s nothing that says they have to only talk about one of them, but perception says they can’t do it all.

Are pen names in marketing ethical?

Some marketers consider this unethical, others don’t. Personally I think that as long as WHAT you are doing is ethical, WHO you call yourself doesn’t really matter.

– Jeffery