SEVERAL months ago I was surprised to see Arnold Zwicky, a linguist, use a comma splice. A few commenters took me to task for being over-picky. The question came up again in the comments several days ago, when k.a.gardner, a frequent commenter, asked for a post on the comma splice. One of my colleagues quickly replied that "The comma-splice rule is totally arbitrary," and a back-and-forth ensued.
What is a comma splice? Prof Zwicky wrote back in July
"this is not even a tempest in a teapot, it’s a fuss in a thimbleful of spit."
That's two independent clauses joined only by a comma, or a comma splice, sometimes called a "comma fault".Pop over to the Economist and have your say, or join in our discussion here. Comma splice. Pedantry or plain speaking?