Re: Question: Comma Before Company Abbreviation?

Subject: Re: Question: Comma Before Company Abbreviation?
From: "Dick Margulis " <margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 5 Feb 2002 19:27:58 -0500

Bonnie, it's grammar, not law.

It's analogous to the rule that you enclose a year or a state name in commas, as in the following examples (note--these are not the only possible styles for expressing dates or locations; they are just the styles chosen for these example):

On November 22, 1963, the world changed.

The McDonalds in Tupelo, Miss., serves grits for breakfast. [I just made that up; I have no idea if it's true.]

Bonnie, you would not (or at least should not) write, "On November 22, 1963 the world changed," or, "The McDonalds in Tupelo, Miss. serves grits for breakfast."

The comma, when used to set off a word or phrase, is a weakly paired mark. Parentheses are strongly paired, in that you always need two. In the case of a comma, though, it can be absorbed by a superseding mark like a period, a paren, or even the beginning of a sentence. But when the set-off is internal to a clause, you need two commas. (This does not apply to the comma used as a separator in a series--different function, different rule.)

Have I convinced you?


"Bonnie Granat" wrote:

> I wonder about that, Dick. Why should a comma *within* a name require a
> comma outside and after the name? Can you refer me to an authority on this?

in response to my writing:

>> One usage note, and one only: If there is a comma before the "Inc." or
>"Incorporated" (as the case may be), and if the company name is in the
>interior of a clause, then you should also place a comma after the "Inc." or
>"Incorporated." For example:
>> "ABC, Inc., was founded in 1942."
>> NOT:
>> "ABC, Inc. was founded in 1942."

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