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Honey I shrunk the comma!

Sometimes using a comma in the wrong place can create an unintended and pretty humorous result, which is what happened to me when I wrote this sentence as part of a novel which I’m writing.
This is what I originally wrote.
‘They quietly walked past the few palatial homes which had been built undisturbed except for the barking of a vigilant guard dog.’
It looks as if the palatial homes had been built undisturbed by the barking of a vigilant guard dog.
Let’s try this, instead.
‘They quietly walked past the few palatial homes which had been built undisturbed, except for the barking of a vigilant guard dog.’
This makes more sense; the builders can now build the palatial homes without being disturbed by a vigilant guard dog.
I’m very pleased for them; it must be pretty un-nerving trying to push a wheelbarrow with a vigilant guard dog snapping at your heels, demanding to know what’s going on.
The following version is better, though.
We don’t have to use a comma and the sentence flows more easily, without any interruptions by pesky grammatical bling such as commas.
‘They quietly walked past the few palatial homes which had been built and were undisturbed except for the barking of a vigilant guard dog.’
It’s interesting how the phrase ‘and were’ replaces the comma; it seems that if you use a suitable phrase you don’t have to use commas.

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