"CE" stands for contrasting elements.
Sometimes you will want to emphasize two strongly contrasting ideas
or points by inserting a comma between them:
Notice that in these cases (though not every
case), contrasts are signaled by the words "not" and "yet." The point
is to set the contrast off for the reader.
- We throw fish at college
professors, never at respectable people.
- We should remember
the lessons we've learned, not regret the time we spent
on a pirate ship learning them.
- Ahab might have forced
Ishmael to walk the plank, but didn't.
Also notice that the second
sentence has an additional strong negative, "never," which also marks the
Now try one more:
The grandmother is a misfit,
the Misfit a son.
Does the comma belong? As before, the
comma in this case underlines the contrast. So we would say yes, this comma
can be justified because it signals a contrast.
|Remember, the point is to justify the commas you use.
Watch for key words that suggest contrast: but, not, and
never are some of the most common.
If you find one of these in your sentence, check to
see if you're trying set up a strong contrast. If so, you probably need
Intro, Get Started, IE, CE,