RE: Comma question

Subject: RE: Comma question
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: Karen Felker <akaren -at- earthlink -dot- net>, Tech Writers <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 19 Jul 2013 10:03:26 -0700

Karen Felker wrote:

> A reviewer is disputing my use of a comma in this sentence that describes a
> clustering algorithm: "Assigns numbers to actors and events, based on natural
> groups called clusters."

I side with the reviewer. But I don't think either way is grammatically incorrect. Comma use is analogous to food seasoning. Some people apply the salt and pepper sparingly; others sprinkle it on with a heavy hand. At some point, too much becomes too much for the vast majority of us, and we'd all agree that the dish has been ruined. But minor variations are simply matters of taste and can be shrugged off.

You might want to decide based on your relationship with the reviewer and what you want it to be going forward. On the one hand, taking the comma out is an easy way to earn some good will. On the other hand, you might want to draw a line in the sand and insist that the reviewer should focus on content accuracy and that you have the final say on grammar and style issues

Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom

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Comma question: From: Karen Felker

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