Explanation of Comma UsageThe following exercise will work only with java-enabled browsers. In the following sentences, the commas appear in red. When you move your mouse-cursor over each comma, an explanation for that comma's usage will appear in the status window at the bottom of your browser. Try to identify the reason for a comma's usage before asking the computer to reveal it for you.
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Although women's college basketball in Connecticut is a marvelously entertaining and increasingly popular sport, it is not hard to remember when it was not so popular. Only a few years ago, my friends and I could decide on a Sunday afternoon to go to a women's basketball game at the University of Connecticut, and believe it or not, we could get seats for free near center court. Of course, that was before names such as Rebeccca Lobo, Jennifer Rizzotti, Kara Wolters, and Carla Berube became household words. Lobo's book, Home-Court Advantage, which she wrote with her mother, was a best-seller for a brief time in Connecticut. If more than a couple of hundred fans showed up for a game, it was considered a big turnout, and games were played in practically silent gyms. Nowadays, it is almost impossible to buy tickets to a women's game, and you can't get seats, even in the Civic Center, unless you know someone.
Indeed, who would have predicted ten years ago that women's basketball would become so wildly popular in Connecticut? Well, people who have watched the growth of women's basketball in southern states are not surprised. The enormous campus arenas at the state universities in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia are filled to capacity for every home game. The coach for Tennessee's Lady Vols, Pat Summitt, has achieved nearly godlike stature in that state. A tall, striking figure on- and off-court, Summitt commands respect wherever she goes. My youngest sister, Ruth Ann, who lives in Tennessee, says you can't get near Pat Summit after a game. "You'd think she was a rock star," she says. Although Geno Auriemma, Coach of the UConn women's team, doesn't yet enjoy that kind of support, he is rapidly becoming a widely recognized figure. In Connecticut, we no longer say there is basketball in college sports and then there is women's basketball; we say there is men's basketball and women's basketball.
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