to comma or not to comma

Subject: to comma or not to comma
From: Amy Maclin <MACLINA -at- ORAU -dot- GOV>
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 1995 15:16:00 -0500

Here's a copyediting question that is so piddling I'm embarrassed to
take up net space with it, but it has stumped me and two other
editors. Picture this:

You are writing a Chicago Manual-style bibliography entry. In the
example below, when listing Mr. Howell, would you put a comma in
front of "III" or not? (I told you it was piddling.)

1. Howell, Thurston III, and Ginger Grant.

2. Howell, Thurston, III, and Ginger Grant.

If it were "Jr.," you'd put the commas around it, of course.
However, I'm not sure "III" should necessarily be treated the same,
since one would write "Thurston Howell, Jr." but not "Thurston
Howell, III." We can't find it in any of our references. Can
someone ease our troubled minds?

Amy Maclin
Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education
maclina -at- orau -dot- gov


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