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Fri Sep 25, 2020, 07:59 AM

Written English question about usage of a comma

Hi all, and thanks for considering my English composition question. I have been out of school a long time and my knowledge of the written English rules is foggy, at best.

My question: When you are writing (or typing) a greeting to someone (say, in a novel or even in a letter or email to a friend), which forms are permissible ?

A- "Hello John", "Hello Susan"

B- "Hello, John", "Hello, Susan" (note the usage of the comma)

or

C- both of the above ? I typically use option A but I do not know the rules.

The reason why I ask is, in a game I play, a Dutch woman habitually addresses people by option B. I have no idea what the rules are in the Netherlands. Just asking what the English rules are, if it even matters.

Thank you kindly for your attention to this!

Steve

18 replies, 397 views

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply Written English question about usage of a comma (Original post)
steve2470 Sep 25 OP
C_U_L8R Sep 25 #1
DonaldsRump Sep 25 #2
patricia92243 Sep 25 #5
tblue37 Sep 25 #8
Vinnie From Indy Sep 25 #9
Just_Vote_Dem Sep 25 #10
hlthe2b Sep 25 #17
AnnaLee Sep 25 #3
Cirque du So-What Sep 25 #4
soothsayer Sep 25 #11
Croney Sep 25 #6
Laelth Sep 25 #13
Doodley Sep 25 #7
raccoon Sep 25 #12
JT45242 Sep 25 #14
Cirque du So-What Sep 25 #15
abqtommy Sep 25 #16
The Velveteen Ocelot Sep 25 #18

Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Sep 25, 2020, 08:07 AM

1. A is common but B is more proper

"I already ate Susan" and "I already ate, Susan."

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Response to C_U_L8R (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 25, 2020, 08:09 AM

2. Agreed

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Response to C_U_L8R (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 25, 2020, 08:12 AM

5. lol!

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Response to C_U_L8R (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 25, 2020, 08:16 AM

8. Precisely. nt

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Response to C_U_L8R (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 25, 2020, 08:20 AM

9. LOL!

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Response to C_U_L8R (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 25, 2020, 08:22 AM

10. LOL

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Response to C_U_L8R (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 25, 2020, 10:26 AM

17. Yes. Exactly. But, I wish people would focus more on including commas where it clarifies, avoiding

their omission where they are clearly needed, and not so much on their extraneous use that might be technically incorrect.

Of course, that ignores the issue/rule of including the comma WITHIN the quotation marks. I haven't seen too many mention that (and frankly, while I do, it doesn't bother me either way).

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Sep 25, 2020, 08:12 AM

3. Commas give clarity

I still overuse commas but I was taught to use them sparingly when required for clarity.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Sep 25, 2020, 08:12 AM

4. Commas save lives

Letís eat, Grandma!

Vs

Letís eat Grandma!

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Response to Cirque du So-What (Reply #4)

Fri Sep 25, 2020, 08:38 AM

11. I love three things: eating my family and not using commas.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Sep 25, 2020, 08:14 AM

6. B is more proper, but then there is ...

Hello darkness, my old friend.

That looks better than hello, darkness my old friend.

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Response to Croney (Reply #6)

Fri Sep 25, 2020, 09:01 AM

13. Hello, darkness, my old friend, is technically correct. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Sep 25, 2020, 08:14 AM

7. Put the punctuation inside the quotation points. Always start a new line and

paragraph when a new person speaks. Example:

PARAGRAPH "Hello John," said Susan.
PARAGRAPH "Pleased to meet you again!" said John.

However, in a novel. you would normally avoid these types of introductory conversations as they aren't interesting.

PS. You don't put comma before the name, if it isn't needed for clarity.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Sep 25, 2020, 08:42 AM

12. About the commA, then there's:

ďI would like to thank my parents, mother Theresa and the pope.Ē

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Response to raccoon (Reply #12)

Fri Sep 25, 2020, 09:06 AM

14. the Oxford comma is underappreciated for its preciseness

There have been lawsuits that the Oxford comma was used to delineate exactly what was meant.

For precision, use the comma.

For more realistic looking dialogue in a novel or play, you may omit to indicate that in normal conversation there is no pause.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Sep 25, 2020, 09:57 AM

15. We gonna get all Strunk & White up in heah!

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Sep 25, 2020, 10:10 AM

16. I was a junior in high school when an English teacher finally admitted that there are no

language/punctuation rules. I still use what I can to achieve clarity of thought and presentation but
I generally understand what anybody does...

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Sep 25, 2020, 10:51 AM

18. Irrelevant to the question, but commas should be inside quotation marks.

B is more correct, but A seems to have become more common. Commas are placed for clarity, and the salutation is clear either way.

The panda eats shoots and leaves.
The panda eats, shoots, and leaves.

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