Analysis on Parker’s “Do Commas Still Matter?” (RA6)

In “Do commas still matter?”, Kathleen Parker states that proper grammar use has been dynamic over the years, and the change has been negative with more people not paying attention to the grammatical rules. Published in The Washington Post, Parker describes how grammatical errors have become more rampant in the modern community than it was years back. She goes on to state that blame for this negative change is on social media. She, however, agrees that it is fine sometimes intentionally to misuse grammar.  Parker employs her credibility, use of logic with minimal use of the appeal of pathos to trigger the reader’s thoughts in hopes of changing how they use grammar in their day to day interactions by suggesting that indeed, it does matter if they use proper and correct grammar as it conveys a great deal about the person.


Parker establishes her credibility by use of an intelligent tone. Reading throughout the article, her way of persuasion is unique in that it is not a derivative of what others use and this enables her to grab the audience attention. Another method she uses to build up on her appeal of ethos is by quoting various scholars throughout her article. For instance, she quotes Amanda Sturgill, an associate professor of communications at the University of Elon who states that “Grammar is credibility,” and “If you’re not taking care of the small things, people assume you’re not taking care of the big things.” Lastly, she builds on her credibility by stating she has over thirty years’ experience in column writing. Quoting other people boosts Parker validity by proving to the audience that she has done her research on the topic.

Concerning the logos appeal, Parker uses facts, evidence, and progression of ideas throughout her article. To begin with, she first starts with admitting that sometimes it is nearly impossible not to make grammatical errors and that some of these errors are acceptable; she provides evidence that even in her case she and her editors occasionally miss out on grammatical errors. Towards the end of the article, she also builds upon the appeal when she examines claims by a journalist by the name Mona Chalabi that grammar snobs are patronizing, pretentious, and censorious and probably racist simply because most of the people who correct others are older and white. She persuades her readers that this is not true by pointing out as much as the claims were interesting but it is impossible for people to go around correcting stranger’s grammar.

Concerning the humorous appeal, Parker uses it at a minimal compared to the other appeals. In the introductory part, she employs the use of humor when she states that she doesn’t think that her aging contributes in any way to her grammatical errors and then asks her audience to shut up if they believe so, which is in a way humorous. She employs this humor as a way to emotionally connect with her audience. She also uses the appeal when she examines claims by Mona Chalabi, whereby she employs the use of emotionally charged words such as racism, censorious and patronizing.

Overall, Parker has a convincing article. He describes how grammatical errors have become more rampant in the modern community than it was years back. She goes on to state that blame for this negative change is on social media and employs all the persuasive appeals.




Works Cited

Parker, K. Do commas still matter? The Washington Post. October 4, 2016. December 11, 2016. Print.

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