Submitted by Dean Hogan on November 22, 2012

Punctuations for a series of sentences

I saw this sentence in a text: “I came, I saw, I conquered.”

Should the comma be replaced with a semicolon because all three elements are independent clauses.  

Should the sentence be written, “I came. I saw. I conquered.” or “I came; I saw; I conquered.”?

Is the comma acceptable, because the elements are in a simple series?

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This sentence is often given as an example of when it's acceptable to use a comma splice, that is to divide independent clauses with commas, rather than semicolons. I think it's mainly to do with the fact that each clause is very short and that the structures are similar.

http://www.utexas.edu/courses/sutherland/Punctu...

From Wikipedia - Strunk & White note that (comma) splices are sometimes acceptable when the clauses are short and alike in form, such as:

"The gate swung apart, the bridge fell, the portcullis was drawn up".

Incidentally, there's an interesting article on the possible waning of the semi-colon at The Australian - http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/life-of...

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