Re: Items in a Series and Comma Use?
You know, Al, I agree with you about this and the other examples to which you replied. According to the 'rules', there should be no confusion as to the intent of the sentences.As I send in the beginning, this is one of those threads that can go on forever. I never use that dreaded extra comma in my personal writing, or in anything that I send to magazines, etc., but that's me. Since I've been published a lot and have had end users compliment me on the clarity of my writing, not using that last comma hasn't been a problem.
It's a simple fact that people in general do not always know all of the rules. The use of the final comma, while redundant when following the traditional rule, serves to eliminate confusion over the intent of the sentence.
My degree is in journalism, but I came from the technical writing field before I got my degree and returned to it sometime after. When first became a technical writer (from working in hardware engineering), the former English teacher who was my "boss" used that extra comma. The person who took over for him didn't use it. He had a EE degree with a journalism minor.
Most of the people I know who are adamant about using it are English majors (or minors). To use or not use the comma has been argued by both groups for as long as I can remember writing and both sides seem to do pretty well getting their message across to the masses.
So, in order to get on to bigger and better things....I choose not to use it unless specified in the style guide for whomever is paying me. Go ahead and use it if it makes you happy. I won't loose any sleep over it and I don't think that the comma police will loose any sleep either.
Al Geist, Geist Associates
Technical Writing, Online Help, Marketing Collateral, Web Design, Award Winning Videos, Professional Photography
E-mail: al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com <mailto:al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
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- Re: Items in a Series and Comma Use?, Janice Gelb
Items in a Series and Comma Use?: From: Geoff Hart
Re: Items in a Series and Comma Use?: From: Sankara R
Re: Items in a Series and Comma Use?: From: Julie Stickler
Re: Items in a Series and Comma Use?: From: Al Geist
Re: Items in a Series and Comma Use?: From: John Bartol
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