The Comma Faerie
She wears a white dress adorned with the most confounding punctuation mark, the comma. Her wings are a dark lavender, but she is not a dark faerie. She has brown hair. On her feet, she wears comma-shaped slippers. The only knowledge of her appears in a book, appropriately titled The Comma Faerie. Who is the Comma Faerie? Is she even real? Or is she wishful thinking among scholars who struggle with comma usage? Does she have any affiliation with the Neopian Times? I have gathered multiple theories on this topic. Perhaps one of these could be right…
Is the Comma Faerie the Neopian Times editor?
This might make sense. Sure it’s definitely a viable theory. After all, the Neopian Times editor and the Comma Faerie both happen upon a fair amount of writing mishaps. However, before we jump to conclusions, there are indeed issues with this theory. The fact that few have seen the NT editor makes this investigation quite difficult, but I’m always ready for a challenge.
The Comma Faerie states that she lives somewhere in Brightvale, and this was confirmed by census records. The Neopian Times is headquartered in Neopia Central. Now the counterargument to this is that faeries can warp to any location in Neopia instantly. But, this does leave a cloud of faerie dust though, and nobody has recorded such evidence around the NT editor’s office.
Finally, The Comma Faerie emphasizes that she helps scholars. While they are asleep, she quietly flips through dissertations and theses, inserting much-needed commas. Neopia Times writers might also be scholars, but creative writing and drawing may not necessarily be the Comma Faerie’s strong suit. Either way, it’s inconclusive whether she is the editor. Who the actual editor is still remains a Neopian Times secret.
Is she related to the Library Faerie? Maybe she is the Library Faerie’s assistant?
One might ask, aren’t all the faeries related? They all call each other “sister” don’t they? The truth is faeries aren’t all directly related. The term “sister” is more of a formality; a polite term of address. Now, onto the real question. It was rather hard to get the Library Faerie to say anything. She is quite strict when it comes to talking in the library so I had to write my question down on a slip of paper. She smirked and wrote back, “Comma Faerie? I think she’s related to the Semicolon Faerie and the Apostrophe Faerie. Perhaps they have the answer you’re looking for.” Right, somehow in the back of my mind, I knew she was going for wit rather than a real answer.
Quietly, I crept around the library until I found the Writing Center. It was the single room where talking and sharing ideas was encouraged. There are always at least a couple of writers there. After asking every writer in the room, it became apparent that none of them had ever heard of the comma faerie. They did offer to help me with commas if I had trouble though. Again, it seems there isn’t a conclusion here, but it doesn’t seem likely the Comma Faerie serves in the Faerieland Library.
Perhaps she teaches at Brightvale University and dresses up as the Comma Faerie at night?
There are several faeries that are a part of the faculty at Brightvale University. To give some examples: Professor Lynne is an air faerie specializing in the Meteorology department. Professor Azura is an earth faerie who specializes in Petpet Biology and Environmental Sciences. Anyway, these faeries would be likely candidates to dress up as the Comma Faerie.
However, while there are faeries on the faculty, none of them appear to be in the Language and Communications department. That’s not to say that none of them are good at writing. Far from it as plenty of them have published numerous papers in the best journals such as The Natural Petpet.
But, as faculty, they would most likely insist one improves their own writing rather than doing something for them. Dressing up as the Comma Faerie and fixing up papers would seem more like academic misconduct — cheating — in their eyes. Thus, the likelihood of this scenario is quite slim.
Does the Faerie Queen have any answers?
I asked Fyora if she thought the Comma Faerie was indeed real or if the book about her is fiction. She told me a story of when she was a young faerie.
“You know, I used to be very nervous about public speaking. I had a tendency to speak quickly and sometimes my audience wasn’t able to understand me. I also wrote my speeches frantically at the last minute, and I would miss an important punctuation mark that would allow me to speak more…naturally. There was a time when I fell asleep after writing a speech late at night. The next morning, I looked at it and somehow, commas appeared in places where I don’t remember putting them. Yet those commas seemed so natural and made my speeches flow much better. Long story short, I believe there is a Comma Faerie. Her whereabouts? I’m not sure about that. I am the Faerie Queen, but that doesn’t mean I know where all the faeries are.”
This seems like compelling evidence from a very trustworthy source. Then again, Fyora never actually saw the comma faerie edit her speech. It could have been anyone including her Faerie Weewoo. Still, it is rather nice of them.
Do I believe in the Comma Faerie?
There certainly is compelling evidence that she exists, but little knowledge of who she actually is. Faeries tend to be mysterious so my inability to find much information comes as no surprise.
My answer? Yes, I think she is absolutely real. I also think we are all familiar with the Comma Faerie. You know, I myself wasn’t always confident in my writing and I did have a fear of public speaking myself.
Who is the comma faerie you ask? Maybe that’s not the right question. I think the Comma Faerie lives inside of every writer, every artist, and every educator, who has spent countless hours encouraging others to be creative. I used to be like Fyora, okay maybe not exactly because that would be a blasphemous statement. However, I did have a profound fear of writing and speaking. I would often dread writing assignments in Neoschool.
However, throughout my life, I’ve met many teachers that told me to keep at it. I’ve met many other writers in Neopia who have been more than willing to help read over my writing. They give suggestions and offer encouragement when needed, and yes, they do add in much-needed commas sometimes. Without such encouragement, I might have thrown in the towel a long time ago. So be very sure to thank the “Comma Faeries” in your life.
The Comma Faerie might not actually be a faerie at all. But she might be someone you know.