Comma -Reply

Subject: Comma -Reply
From: Diane Williams <DWILLIAM -at- WALCOFF -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 8 May 1995 15:03:21 -0500

Nancy:

Re your comma reference in the following example:

>Mother bequeathed $1 million to Sarah, Joe[,] and Jane, to share
equally.<

The only problem I have with commas in this sentence is the comma after
"Jane" because that makes "Joe and Jane" seem parenthetical, which
they are not. The serial comma after Joe is irrelevant as to how the
money is divided, because it is stated that each of the 3 siblings receive
equal share. If Sarah were to receive 50% and Joe and Jane 25% each,
then you would have to completely rewrite the sentence:

Mother bequeathed $1 million to her children, half to Sarah and half to Joe
and Jane.

~~Diane Williams
dwilliam -at- walcoff -dot- com


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