Margolis, you fiend, stop torturing the language

  Dear HCN,

It's time to remind you and indirectly Jon Margolis that sentence fragments are not particularly convincing or fun to read and that a comma is not a semicolon.

From "The power of love, and its opposite":

"At the cost of a political firestorm that a politically shaky administration can ill afford." Isn't the first sentence, not fragment, in a paragraph supposed to introduce an idea? This is the conclusion of the last sentence in the preceding paragraph.

"The roadless rule is widely (if not deeply) popular, environmental organizations are adept at screaming, and from Capitol Hill to college campuses the outrage would be palpable." Commas are not to string together sentences. A semicolon should replace the first comma. How is it that Jon has three complete thoughts in a single sentence following a sentence fragment introducing the same paragraph?

Clever? Catchy? Not ignorant or slovenly.

"..., the areas now under lease - where most of the oil and gas IS - were excluded from the impacted acreage."

See if you writers and editors can figure that one out.

Rich Prodgers
Dillon, Montana