Comma Coma

Comma coma is not the loss of consciousness, but a lethargic writing state in which the afflicted either does not use commas or feels the urge to place them anywhere and everywhere. In order to avoid this condition, this style-guide entry will show some rules for mastering commas. Some of the discussed points are separating nonessential information, direct quotation, dates, and addresses.

The last sentence of the previous paragraph has an example of a list of three or more items, which need to be separated by commas. The comma before “and”, called serial or Oxford comma, is optional. However, some grammarians recommend its use.

Also, nonessential information must be separated from the main sentence using commas. An example can be seen in the first sentence of the previous paragraph. There, the information “called serial or Oxford comma” is not essential for the meaning of the sentence.

Moreover, introductory words or phrases are separated by commas. The previous sentence itself is an example of this rule.

If you have a subordinate clause, separate it from the independent one using a comma. Again, the previous sentence shows just that.

Dana Driscoll and Allen Brizee say, “Use a comma to shift between the main discourse and a quotation.” And there you have an example of the rule for commas in quotations.

The information in the previous paragraph has been retrieved from the article “Commas: Quick Rules” at owl.english.purdue.edu on September 6, 2017. In the same article, the aforementioned authors teach that items in dates are also separated by commas, except for the month and day. The article retrieval date is an example of this rule.

As a curiosity, the website mentioned in the previous paragraph is hosted by Purdue University, which is located at 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, United States. Items in addresses are also separated by commas, except for street number and name, as shown in the first sentence of this paragraph.

And the last example for this brief, informative entry regards coordinate adjectives. This kind of adjectives should be separated by commas, as “brief” and “informative” in the first sentence of this paragraph.

Now that you reviewed most of the rules for using commas, it should be easier to avoid comma comas.

Works Consulted:

Hubspot. 2016. Grammar Police: 30 of the Most Common Grammatical Errors We All Need to Stop Making. [ONLINE] Available at: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/common-grammar-mistakes-list. [Accessed on September 6, 2017].

Daily Writing Tips. 2013. 10 Functions of the Comma. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.dailywritingtips.com/10-functions-of-the-comma/. [Accessed on September 5, 2017].

Purdue Owl. 2010. Commas: Quick Rules. [ONLINE] Available at: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/owlprint/607/. [Accessed on September 6, 2017].

 

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