Just in case some of you might have thought me an unreasonably crochety old curmudgeon pining for the clear and lovely English of olden days, my friend Dan Bronson (Confessions of a Hollywood Nobody) informed me that an unauthorized biography of Melania Trump has just been released under the title, Free, Melania.
As a disclaimer, I have a lot of respect for Melania Trump. She is accomplished, poised, intelligent, and clearly has a far thicker hide than I, grandly ignoring snarky, small-minded, and malevolent scolds who would snipe at her if she discovered the cure for cancer. Having said that, I have no intentions of reading Free, Melania and that absurd comma is part of the reason why.
Free Melania or Free Melania! would have both made sense, implying we (the readers of the book and the public generally) should rise up to free her from the White House, or from President Trump, or from the golden shackles of fame and envy, but Free, Melania means nothing.
Free! Melania or Free: Melania would both have implied she has broken free of husband, house, and shackles, but Free, Melania means nothing.
Free! Melania! would imply a more manic version of the above, but again, Free, Melania means zip.
Dan informed me that the book’s author has an explanation for why she inserted that unnecessary comma, but as Dan pointed out, if you have to explain or justify your title, maybe you should just change it, possibly into acceptable and comprehensible English.
In the, meantime keep you’re eyes, open so you can catch; any writers’ making mistakes?