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How the FANBOYS Acronym Can Improve Your Content

fanboys acronym

Communication is a very important skill that should be learned otherwise we would not be able to achieve most of the things we need to do.

Every living thing has a communication ability, some plants, for example, react to certain weather and atmospheric conditions.

It is through this communication medium that we are able to know certain things about the subject or object that is being communicated to.

It is safe to say that communication is an important fuel that drives the universe.

Continue reading to find out how the FANBOYS acronym can help improve your writing. 


Since it has already been established that communication is very important, it is, therefore, necessary that we know how to communicate in the right way otherwise communicating in the wrong way is almost the same thing with not communicating at all.

In fact, sometimes not communicating in the right way creates more confusion.  Check out our article on how to write good blog content here.

The communication can be in two ways which are either written or spoken word. But for this article, we will be looking at our written English.

This is so important because some common mistakes are made when writing or reading. Such common mistakes are with the use of our punctuation marks, especially the comma punctuation mark.

It is one of the most punctuation marks that is not properly used when writing and even most educated writers and editors still make mistakes when using it.

When it is wrongly used it changes the context of the written word and sometimes even cause confusion. But the days of wrongly using commas is about to end for you.

In this article, we will be writing about a popular acronym that will help you to stop using commas in the wrong way. And this acronym is called FANBOYS with the full meaning being (For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So).

When you understand the usage of FANBOYS acronym, you can get a well-written article with proper use of punctuation when you sign up to iWriter.

How FANBOY Made its Way Into Writing

Technology help brands, and other issues that trend very well online and the thing is when people like a particular thing trending online, they most assuredly like it very well.

In fact, there are some tech lovers that feel that other people that like something different or promote something different from their own are weird. Especially when these people promote the brand online.

FANBOYS is one of such brands that has sometimes be used to mock people that really promote it, in fact, some are even subtly insulted with the word.

You can read more on the origin of FANBOYS here

While some people use it as a word to tease people, some use it fantastically well and are even very proud to use it and be recognized with it.

The etymology of fanboy spans as far back as 1919 when it was first used. Merriam Webster dictionary even defines fanboy as “a boy or man who is an extremely or overly enthusiastic fan or something”.

But irrespective of the usage of the word what is most important in this article is how the word can be used to help avoid one of the most misused punctuation marks in the English language grammar structure. 

The Amazing Usage of FANBOYS to Help Understand Comma Usage

There are some words that prefer to be alone, they do not want to share their time with others, they so much like their privacy while some other words are not like that, they are just like the people that have the sanguine type of temperament always lively when they are in the midst of two or more people.

So are the words that conjunct, to put it out in a more better way conjunction which is among the parts of speech. A conjunction is a part of speech that joins, just like when a priest is conducting a church wedding ceremony joining a man and a woman together to become husband and wife.

So, the work of conjunction is not different from that of a priest at all because it joins, connects a word or some parts of a phrase, clause and even two complete sentences together.

Wow! What a wonderful priest named Conjunction. And under conjunction, there are some words that coordinate and conjoins two things together. And these coordinating conjunctions are:

For, And, Or, Nor, But, Or, Yet, and So, when you pick the first alphabet of each word you arrive at the popular buzzword which is FANBOYS. Sometimes people tend to think that the word “then” and “now” are coordinating words, make no mistake they are not.

So now let’s look at this coordinating conjunctions and see how they can help to get our comma punctuations right.

The Use of FANBOYS Acronym

Just has it has been said above that these are coordinating conjunction that connects words, phrases, and clauses together.

One of the best ways to get your comma usage rightly is to ensure that you use a comma before FANBOYS that conjoins two separate clauses together.

A clause usually has a subject and a verb in it.

Here is an example: I run, Victor speaks eloquently.

To explicitly understand the usage of FANBOYS with a clause, Take a look at this:

  • You were running well at the beginning, but you didn’t finish well at the end.
  • I like eating bananas, so I told Jane to buy some for me.

Take note of how a comma is used before the FANBOYS coordinating conjunction. You probably do not need a comma if there are no two subjects and two verbs separated by the FANBOYS. This means that if the second sentence does not make a meaningful sentence you do not need a comma. 

No Conjunction

Another usage to take note is that when there is no FANBOYS conjunction between two complete and different sentence that makes sense. Using a comma often results in an error called “fused sentence” or “comma splice”.

  • Wrong: You were running well at the beginning, you didn’t finish well at the end.
  • Wrong: Jude wore a pair of nice shoes, that was the only good thing he wore.

To correct this comma punctuation errors, here are some of the things you can do:

  • Right: You were running well at the beginning though you didn’t finish well at the end.
  • Right: Jude wore a pair of nice shoes; that was the only good thing he wore.

Use commas when you have three or more items that follow each other in a series. Your comma punctuation should always come before the FANBOYS coordinating conjunction. Here are some examples:

  • Cassandra said she needs a drawing book, a pencil, a board, a lamp, and a ruler for her new project.
  • Aisha thinks Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea FC, and Tottenham Hotspur are not title contenders in the English Premier League.

Below is How You Can Use Each FANBOYS Word

FOR: Often used to explain a cause.

Example: She wants to see Lilian again, for she is pleasurable to be with.

  • AND: Used to add additional meaning to an existing sentence.

Example: I like watching football and playing video games.

  • NOR: This is usually used to negate an idea with a contrast.

Example: She cannot play volleyball, nor does she drive.

  • BUT: Mostly used to connect sentences that are not in agreement with each other.

Example: Food is very small but I can still manage it.

  • OR: This is used you indicate or show that there is an option available between two or more things.

Example: You can buy trousers or a T-shirt.

  • YET: This is used to say the opposite of an initial statement.

Example: He trained well enough, yet he did not win

  • SO: This is often used to explain the result of something that happened before.

Example: Mark noticed his son like football, so he bought a ball for him.

To get more knowledge on how to use a comma before or after ‘but’, you can read more here

Get to Practice

Now you know how to properly use the comma and also how to use the FANBOYS acronym and what each letter stands for. Along with reading this article, you’ll need lots of practice.

To be good at this do some practice. Perhaps you can go over your writing again and apply some of the rules to where you did not use the comma punctuation properly.

If you’re wondering what you should write about, check out this article.

Contact us for more information on writing services or becoming a writer. 

Happy writing!

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