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320 Commas - Teaching sz Although some punc— tuation has...

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Unformatted text preview: \, Teaching sz Although some punc— tuation has been intro- duced earlier, Chapters 16, 17, and 18 present all the basic punctua- tiontrulesgsystemati— cally. Chapier 16 groups all cbmma rules in one conven— ent location.5 chapter 16 Commas Objectives When you have completed the materials in this chapter, you will be able to do the following: Level I ° Correctly place commas in series, direct address, and parenthetical expressions. ° Use commas correctly in punctuating dates, addresses, geographical items, and appositives. Level II - Place commas correctly in punctuating independent adjectives, verbal phrases, and prepositional phrases. ' Use commas correctly in punctuating independent, introductory, terminal, and nonessential clauses. Level 111 ° Use commas correctly in punctuating degrees, abbreviations, and numerals. ° Use commas to indicate omitted words, contrasting statements, clarity, and short quotations. Insert appropriate commas in the following sentences. 1. Our records/\Mr. Thomas indicate that your order was received May 3 and shipped May 6. - 2. We have suppliers in AkronAOhioA'and in Denver Colorado. ' 3.‘ The attorney had reason to believe Aby the way,\that the judge was not im- partial and might be biased against this case. 4- The information revolution may be responsible for the biggest peacetime _ economic boom in history\but keeping up with the digital flow means being chained to your computer. - , 5. Although tired AempIOyees preferred the evenmgAnot the morningA' -service training programs. , , ‘Sumiour “3111113213 ’panl '5 ‘Aioisrq '17 “PM ~‘9A9113q ‘g raAuoq ‘orqo uonw z ‘seurOtu. rw ‘sproaar 1 When you talk with a friend, you are probably unaware of the ”invisible” commas, periods, and other punctuation marks that you are using. In conversation your pauses and voice inflections punctuate your thoughts and clarify your meaning. In writing, however, you must use a conventional set of symbols, punctuation marks, to help your reader understand your meaning. Over the years we have gradually developed a standardized pattern of usage for all punctuation marks. This usage has been codified (set down) in rules that are ob— served by writers who wish to make their writing as precise as possible. As noted earlier, some professional writers may deviate from conventional punctuation prac- tices. In addition, some organizations, particularly newspapers and publishing houses, maintain their own style manuals to establish a consistent "in-house” style. The punctuation guidelines presented in this book represent a consensus of punctuation styles that are acceptable in business writing. Following these guide— lines will enable you to write with clarity, consistency, and accuracy. Basic Guidelines for Using Commas The most used and misused punctuation mark, the comma, indicates a pause in the flow of a sentence. Not all sentence pauses, however, require commas. It is important for you to learn the standard rules for the use of commas so that you will not be tempted to clutter your sentences with needless, distracting commas. Here are the guidelines for basic comma usage. Series Commas are used to separate three or more equally ranked (coordinate) elements (words, phrases, or short clauses) in a series. A comma before the conjunction en- sures separation of the last two items. No commas are used when conjunctions join all the items in a series. Only in June, July, and August is a lifeguard available. (Series of words. Notice that a comma precedes and, but no comma follows the last item, August.) Wireless technology enables you to respond to customers’ requests, change sales fore— casts, and manage suppliers even when you are away from the office. (Series of phrases.) Mr. Horton is the owner, Ms. Travis is the marketing manager, and Miss Savala is the executive assistant. (Series of clauses.) We need wireless access to e-mail and Web sites and the home office. (No commas needed when conjunctions are repeated.) Direct Address Words and phrases of direct address are set off with commas. You must agree, Mr. James, that Luls has done outstanding work. I respectfully request, sir, that I be transferred. Chapter 16 Commas Some writers in other languages envy English. Our system- atic use of commas and other punctuation makes it easy to signal pauses, to emphasize ideas, and to enhance readability. \(tll Eh 1H llail‘x mic int cw’ry Lusmim “‘m me. For 4.“.fillljlit‘. Study Tip As you begin to learn about commas, try to name a rule or guide- line ior every comma you insert. For exam- ple, comma/series, comma/parenthetical, and so forth. Teaching Tip ”in L'llljlllt‘ml/L‘ llit‘ int, ‘Ul gilt' \IfIlCH 1m. uimm 'll students .‘lllt'i'ildllcl.’ 293 Parenthetical Expressions 7. Parenthetical words, phrases, and clauses may be used to create transitions between ’ thoughts. These expressions interrupt the flow of a sentence and are unessential to its grammatical completeness. These commonly used expressions, some of which are listed below, are considered unessential because they do not answer specifically questions such as when? where? why? or how? Set off these expressions with commas. accordingly hence namely all things considered however needless to say as a matter of fact in addition nevertheless as a result incidentally no doubt as a rule in fact of course ; at the same time in my opinion on the contrary by the way in other words on the other hand consequently in the first place otherwise for example in the meantime therefore furthermore moreover under the circumstances In addition, your computer skills are excellent. (At beginning of sentence.) This report is not, however, one that must be classified. (Inside sentence.) You have checked with other suppliers, no doubt. (At end of sentence.) The words in question are set off by commas only when they are used paren- thetically and actually interrupt the flow of a sentence. ‘» Don't confuse short introductory essential prepositional phrases for parentheti- cal expressions. Notice that the following phrases are essential and, therefore, re- w 5 Spot the 3100p” However the vote goes, we will abide by the result. (No comma needed after however.) MN ; Sign outside a restau- /, . .13 . y; rant in Granada, We have no doubt that our Web site must be revamped. (No commas needed to set / W 3’ " » § Mississippi: ”LETS EAT off no doubt.) k“ g SENIOR CITIZENS.” 9' quire no commas. In the summer the size of our staff declines. o mma is needed because the short prepositional phrase answers the questio when. v , At our Madison branch we will hire additional personnel. (No comma is needed be- cause the short prepositional phrase answers the question For this reason we will be lowering our wholesale prices. (No no «a is needed be- cause the'short prepositional hrase answers the question W With your help our production team can meet its goal. (No comma is needed because the short prepositional phrase answers the questior® Phrases are essential (no commas) when they answer the ques- tions when? where? why? or how? Dates, Addresses, and Geographical Items When dates, addresses, and geographical items contain more than one element, the second and succeeding elements are normally set off by commas. Study the fol- f? lowing illustrations. 9? 294 Chapter 16 Commas I M ka/O 41‘ 19M 4/ i . Dates WLKD Mopened for business. (No comma needed for one element.) On January 3, 2001, we opened for business. (l'wo commas set off second element.) On Monday, January 3, 2001, we opened for business. (Commas set off second and third elements.) In NW reorganization was effected. (Commas set off second element.) Note: In June 2001 the reorganization was effected. (This alternate style is acceptable in writing the month and year only.) - Addresses Send the software to Mr. Chun Wong, 1639 East 69 Street, Clevelan , Ohio 4411 A e- fore Tuesday. (Commas are used between all elements except t state and zi code, which are in this special instance to be considered a sing unit.) /’~\ - Geographical items He moved from Nashville, Tennessee, to Chicago, Illinois. (l'wo commas set off the state unless it appears at the end of the sentence.) Appositives You will recall that appositives rename or explain preceding nouns or pronouns. An appositive that provides information not essential to the identification of its an- tecedent should be set off by commas. Debbie Robinson, the DataMax sales representative, is here. (I' he appositive adds nonessential information; commas set it off.) The sales representative Debbie Robinson is here to see you. (I' he appositive is needed to identify which sales representative has arrived; therefore, no commas are used.) One-word appositives do not require commas. My husband Kevin sometimes uses my computer. Now complete the reinforcement exercises for Level 1. Level II . Special Guidelines for Using Commas At this level we will review comma usage guidelines that you studied in previous chapters, and we will add one new guideline. Independent Adjectives Separate two or more adjectives that equally modify a noun (see Chapter 12). Online customers can conduct secure, real-time banking transactions. We're looking for an industrious, ambitious person to hire. Chapter 16 Commas Study Tip In separating cities and states and dates and years, many writers remember the initial comma but forget the final one( (my friend from Albany New York \called). 7 Q ) Spot the Blooper From The Union-Leader [Manchester, NH]: ”Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, a grandson of Germany's last emperor who worked in a Detroit auto plant in the 19305 and later op- posed Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, has died at age 86.” [Could a comma help clarify who worked in the auto plant? Would the idea be better ex- pressed in two sen— tences?] Hot Link For a chatty, online discussion of commas, go to ”Commas: They’re Not Just for English Majors Anymore” <http:// parallel.park.uga. edul~sigalasl Commas/ie.html>. 295 l :52 :l i w) Spot the Blooper From an AP story about a lawsuit filed by a woman who said she was burned by a pickle that fell out of her McDonald’s burger: While attempt- ing to eat the hamburger, the pickle dropped from the hamburger onto her chin. Study Tip The comma after an introductory clause is probably the most fre- quently missed comma in student writing. Be sure to insert a comma after a clause begin- ning with I]: When, Ar, Since, and so forth. 296 W fit” 1 . Intr ducto y Verbal Phrases / Q %< K erbal phrasds (see C apterél‘llthat precede main clauses should be followed by mamas To qualify for the position, you must have two years’ experience. Climbing quickly, the hikers reached the summit by noon. Prepositional Phrases \ One or more i troducto. re ositional , talin five or more words should be followed by a comma\ N/ \4/ In the spring of the year, our thoughts may be diverted from academics. For a period of six months, a new employee is on probation. Introductory prepositional phrases of fewer than five words require no commas. In August that stock reached its highest price. In some instances a single parent must work alternate hours. Prepositional phrases in other positions do not require commas when they are es- sential and do not interrupt the flow of the sentence. We have installed in our Chicago office a centralized telecommunications system. (No commas are needed around the prepositional phrase WS- .tion where? and ' u t the flow of the sentence.) You may at your convenience complete the Adams project. (No commas are needed because the prepositional phrasWM—anddomotinter- rupt the flow of the sentence.) w Independent Clauses When a coordinating conjunction (see Chapter 14) joins independent clauses, use a comma before the coordinating conjunction, unless the clauses are very short. In Japan the wireless Internet has become wildly successful, and companies are push- ing for even more sophisticated services. Introductory Clauses Wat precede independent clauses are followed by commas. \__,. When you have finished, please return the style manual. If you need help, please call me in the afternoon. Since we need more clerks, we will begin advertising. TerminaLDependentClauses \Use a comma before a d endent clause is afterthought. Chapter 16 Commas ndent clause at the en, ntence only if the de- l Please return the style manual when you have finished. (No comma needed.) I plan to leave at 3:30, if that meets with your approval. (Dependent clause added as an afterthought.) Nonessential Clauses Use commas to set off clauses that are used parenthetically or that supply infor- mation unneeded for the grammatical completeness of a sentence. An increase in employee benefits, as you can well understand, must be postponed until profits improve. We received a letter from Anne Diga, who is now living in Anchorage, Alaska. Do not use commas to set off clauses that contain essential information. A student who is studying English certainly needs an up-to-date dictionary. (No com- mas are necessary because the italicized clause is essential; it tells what student needs an up-to-date dictionary.) Now complete the reinforcement exercises for Level II. Level III Additional Guidelines for Using Commas The last guidelines for commas include suggestions for punctuating degrees, abbre- viations, numerals, omitted words, contrasting statements, and short quotations. Degrees and Abbreviations Except for Jr. and Sr., degrees, personal titles, and professional designations fol- lowing individuals’ names are set off by commas. John T. O’Dell Jr. is frequently confused with John T. O’Dell Sr. Dana Fladhammer, MD, has a flourishing practice in Tempe, Arizona. Judith Lounsbury, Ph.D., discussed degree requirements with the college president. We have retained Robin Cittenden, Esq., to represent us. The abbreviations Inc. and Ltd. are set off by commas if the company’s legal name includes the commas. Blackstone & Smythe, lnc., exports goods worldwide. (Company’s legal name includes comma.) Shoes Inc. operates at three locations in Tampa. (Legal name does not include comma before lnc.) Numerals Unrelated figures appearing side by side should be separated by commas. By 2004, 1.3 billion subscribers will be using wireless devices worldwide. A total of 150, 2001 graduates attended the reception. Chapter 16 Commas Spot the Blooper From The Paa'fica Tribune [Pacifica, CA]: ”The land was eventu- ally sold to Andy Oddstad who built homes and also be- came the site of Linda Mar Shopping Center.” \« Teachmq Tip L In Aiiit‘rica llic lcrm bu} may he used as a murlcsy title by allur— ncys addressing each lilllt’l'. ll used, no Ulllt‘l lillc is wrillcn (Dc/1 SIN/Ill, Eli/.l. Study Tip The Chicago Manual of Style (14th Edition) recommends that Jr., Sr., 11, and 111 no longer be set off by commas. 297 Spot the Blooper From The Boston Globe: ”Then her hair caught fire while sitting in a front seat during a fireworks display.” 298 Numbers of more than three digits require commas. 1,760 47,950 6,500,000 However, calendar years and zip codes are written without commas within the nu- merals. Calendar Years: 1776 2001 2004 Zip Codes: 02116 45327 90265 Telephone numbers, house numbers, decimals, page numbers, serial numbers, and contract numbers are also written without commas within the numerals. Telephone Number: (212) 555~4432 House Number: 20586 Victory Avenue Decimal Number: .98651, .0050 Page Number: Page 1356 Serial Number: 36-5710-1693285763 Contract Number: No. 359063420 Omitted Words A comma is used to show the omission of words that are understood. Last summer we hired 12 employees; this summer, only 3 employees. (Comma shows omission of we hired after summer.) Contrasting Statements Commas are used to set off contrasting or opposing expressions. These expressions are often introduced by such words as not, never, but, and yet. The nominating committee selected Mr. Durell, not Mr. Monroe, as its representative. (Two commas set off contrasting statement that appears in the middle of a sen- tence.) Our budget for equipment this year is reduced. yet quite adequate. The harder our staff works, the further behind we seem to get. (One comma sets off contrasting statement that appears at the end of a sentence.) Clarity Commas are used to separate words repeated for emphasis and words that may be misread if not separated. Susan Keegan said that it was a very, very complex contract. Whoever goes, goes at his or her own expense. No matter what, you know you have our support. in business. time is money. Chapter 16 Commas Oi Short Quotations A comma is used to separate a short quotation from the rest of a sentence. If the 9 quotation is divided into two parts, two commas are used. Alice Beasley said, “The deadline for the ATI contract is June 6." Study TIP Here’s a good rule to follow in relation to the comma: When in Now complete the reinforcement exercises for Level III. doubt, leave it out! HOTLlNE QUERIES Q. My boss always leaves out the comma before the word and when it precedes the final word in a series of words. Should the comma be used? “The deadline for the ATI contract," said Alice Beasley, “is June 6." A. Although some writers omit that comma, present practice favors its use so that the last two items in the series cannot be misread as one item. For example, The departments partic- ipating are Engineering, Accounting, Personnel, and Human Resources. Without that final comma, the last two items might be confused as one item. Should I use a comma after the year in this sentence: In 1999 we began operations? No. Commas are not required after short introductory prepositional phrases unless confu- sion might result without them. If two numbers, for example, appear consecutively, a comma would be necessary to prevent confusion: In 1999, 156 companies used our services. Are these three words interchangeable: assure, ensure, and insure? Although all three words mean “to make secure or certain,” they are not interchangeable. Assure refers to persons and may suggest setting someone’s mind at rest (let me assure you that we are making every efiort to locate it). Ensure and insure both mean ”to make secure from loss,” but only insure is now used in the sense of protecting or indemnifying against loss (the building and its contents are insured). W >0 >0 It seems to me that the word explanation should be spelled as explain is spelled. Isn’t this unusual? Many words derived from root words change their grammatical form and spelling. Consider these: maintain, maintenance; repeat, repetition; despair, desperate, desperation; pronounce, pronunciation. - Is appraise used correctly in this sentence? We will appraise stockholders of the potential loss. - No. Your sentence requires apprise, which means ”to inform or notify.” The word appraise means ”to estimate” (he will appraise your home before you set its selling price). >0 >0 Chapter 16 Commas 299 300 Is an apostrophe needed in this sentence? The supervisor(’s) leaving early on Thursday pre- vented us from finishing the job by Friday. The apostrophe is needed: the supervisor’s leaving . . . The word leaving is a verbal noun (a gerund), and its modifier must be possessive. Other examples are: the boy’s whistling, the lion ’s roaring, my friend’s driving. Which word is correct in this sentence? The ofi'icer (cited, sited, sighted) me for speeding. Your sentence requires cited, which means ”to summon” or ”to quote.” Site means “a loca- tion,” as in a building site. Sight means ”a view” or ”to take aim,” as in the building was in sight. Chapter 16 Commas ...
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