Wednesday, May 5, 2010

More on Comma Rules

I've blogged about comma use before. I use the Chicago Manual of Style as my preferred grammar guide. A fellow critiquer pointed me to I excerpted the following from there. I disagree with several of the authors rules. I prefer the option, when I wish a pause for effect, where this author requires a comma.
  1. Separate a list — my husband, daughter, son, and nephew
  2. Separate two adjectives — a strong, healthy man
  3. Or an ly-adjective — lonely, young boy
  4. Separate an address — Yes, doctor, I will
  5. Separate month and year — December 5, 2010
  6. Separate city and state — Tampa, FL
  7. Separate degrees — Mac Wheeler, PhD, is a
  8. Separate interrupting passages — I am, as you see, a tall dude
  9. Separate weak introductory clauses — If not sure, drop me a note
  10. Separate introductory clauses longer than three words
  11. Separate nonessential clauses — Freddy, who has a limp, said hello
  12. Separate clauses joined with conjunctions — He did, and so did I
  13. Okay, this rule is just not needed
  14. Run-ons are caused by improperly joining to independent clauses with a comma
  15. If the subject does not appear in front of the second verb, do not use a comma (I disagree—I like the option depending on if I wish a pause for effect)
  16. Use commas with interrupting tags less than three words long — "Why," he asked, "do you care?"
  17. Separate answer from question — I can go, can't I (I disagree—depends if you want a pause.)
  18. Separate contrasting structures — It's my money, not yours (I disagree—depends if you want a pause.)
  19. Separate introductory words like well, yes, now
  20. Surround interrupting words like therefore and however
  21. Separate introductory words like namely, that is, i.e., for example, e.g.
The shorter summary I listed earlier from CMO is much easier to use. I'm just saying.

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