Tuesday, April 16, 2019

That Pesky Comma: Part 2 by Erika M Szabo

Where does it belong?
By Erika M Szabo

I learned English as an adult and the comma became my worst nightmare when I started writing.
Where it's needed and don't need it?

I rely on the editors to catch my mistakes, but I really should use my cheat-sheet more often. I bet my editor would have fewer headaches.

Read the first part of my cheat-sheet here:

My cheat-sheet continued:

Use a comma to separate each element in an address. Also use a comma after a city-state combination within a sentence.
I work at 234 South Street, New York, 10045.

Also use a comma to separate the elements in a full date (weekday, month and day, and year). Also separate a combination of those elements from the rest of the sentence with commas.
March 15, 2019, was a strange day.
Friday, March 15, 2019, was a strange day.

You don't need to add a comma when the sentence mentions only the month and year.
March 2019 was a strange month.

Use a comma when the first word of the sentence is freestanding "yes" or "no."
Yes, I saw a fox when I went running.
No, the fox didn't bite me.

Use a comma when directly addressing someone or something in a sentence.
My boss often asks, "Cathy, did you read the new policy yet?"

Incorrect placement of the comma leads to confusion and misunderstanding.
Stop clubbing baby seals!
It looks like an order to desist harming baby seals.
Stop clubbing, baby seals!
Now it prompts baby seals to stop clubbing.

Use a comma between two adjectives that modify the same noun.
I saw the big, mean fox when I went running.

Use a comma to offset negation in a sentence.
I saw a fox, not a baby seal, when I went running.

Also use commas when any distinct shift occurs in the sentence or thought process.
The cloud looked like an animal, perhaps a baby elephant.

Use commas before every sequence of three numbers when writing a number larger than 999. (Two exceptions are writing years and house numbers.)
10,000 or 1,304,687.

Read the first part of article about the Pesky Rules:

Next week we'll talk about "its versus it's", "then versus than", "nor versus or" and many other pesky rules. Don't miss the post!

Yesterday was a great day, my book trailer video was chosen to be on of the winners in the Bookish Video Contest:
 Cursed Bloodline 

See the winners here: