Re: Proper use of commas in

Subject: Re: Proper use of commas in
From: Peter Kent <71601 -dot- 1266 -at- COMPUSERVE -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 1995 12:13:08 EST

>>Beverly Parks wrote:
As much as I support the British method when it comes toending punctuation
and quotation marks (oops, different list), Imust definitely side with the
American Way(TM) on the comma issue(assuming it's true that the Brits leave
out the final comma ina series). This topic has been discussed extensively
herebefore, so I won't list a bunch of examples, but consistentlyusing the
final comma prevents confusion, plain and simple.As with everything, there is
an exception. If logic dictates thefinal comma be omitted, then it should. (As
when the final twoelements in a list represent a unit.)<<

As a British writer who's spent all of his writing life in the United States,
I wholeheartedly agree with you. The last comma makes sense (in most cases),
and I use it; I wouldn't worry about using it for writing going to the UK,
either (as a number of my books do, anyway). Few British readers would notice,
fewer still would care.

And you are correct about the quotation mark; the British method simply makes
more sense than the US method. The quotation marks should enclose what is
actually being quoted, not extraneous punctuation.

Peter Kent: 71601 -dot- 1266 -at- compuserve -dot- com, 303-989-1869
Coming soon, an updated and revised Technical Writer's Freelancing
Guide. E-mail for more information. Comments/suggestions welcome.

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