Is there some place a man can go to, say, duel whoever puts together scholastic and literary style guides?
Because whoever decided that we put a comma instead of a period in a line like:
“You hate this comma here,” said the grammarian.
That man, I would like to take to a knife fight. And I would bring a hammer. To demonstrate in a material fashion a way in which an author can be wrong, and yet right.
I loathe that comma used prior to the closed quotation on a line of dialogue.
“If dialogue does not continue past the said tag, using a punctuation mark that implies a continuation of the dialogue is illogical. I shouldn’t have to endure that hated comma. I contend that a period should be placed at the end of the dialogue, prior to the closed quotation mark, right here.” stated the bitter author.
“And yet, you are wrong,” said the laughing grammarian.
“I hate you,” sobbed the bitter author, as he complied with the rule he found esoteric and arcane. “At least in this part of the example, the use of a comma seems logical, as my dialogue continued past the said tag.”
“And yet, you cannot even follow a statement with a closed quotation mark and then a comma, as logical as that would seem,” said the grammarian.
“Is that so? Just watch.”, said the bitter author.
“And yet, you are still wrong,” said the grammarian. “And so you must endure my torturous trailing commas forever in all of your dialogue.”
And the bitter author wept.
This is the current reason a hammer resides on my writing desk.
Just in case I meet this man.