Breaking the Rules (3)

Consider this sentence:

Is that sentence punctuated correctly? Of course not! By now you know that there are only two ways to join independent clauses:

The word "then" is not a fanboy; it's an adverb. Therefore, the sentence is incorrect. To splice those clauses correctly, we would have to rewrite it in one of the following ways:

Nonetheless, many professional writers consider "then" to be an honorary fanboy, and they wouldn't object too strongly to using ", then" instead of ", and then" to splice two clauses.

It's another case of: If you know the rules of grammar, you are allowed to break them.

Here are some more examples:

Instructions for the Quiz

Write a sentence with two clauses. Join the clauses with "comma then" (, then).

Note: Keep in mind that you are writing a sentence that is grammatically incorrect!

And you should probably never do it again—unless you become a professional writer. Only after you have mastered the rules of grammar are you allowed to break them!