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From: Laura J Valentine <fiend+ -at- CMU -dot- EDU>
Subject: Re: Commas...
Excerpts from tech: 14-Sep-96 Commas... by Gary Comins -at- WORLD -dot- STD -dot- CO
Can anyone advise, what is the current standard for using commas now, in
technical and marketing communication? Do you include or omit a comma
before the _and_ in a series? Also, someone recently said they learned
in college to put two spaces after a period, preceding the next
sentence. Is there a consensus on one or two spaces?
(As I've said previously, I'm still a student. Feel free to correct
me. :)According to my illustrious Tech Writing professor...fiction
still uses the 2 spaces after a period, but technical and business
writing no longer do, and commas are omitted before the and.
I don't think it's a matter of "trend" so much as simple, official
Media writing (newspapers, magazines, and marketing) almost always uses
AP (Associated Press) style, while most technical writing usually uses
The Chicago Manual of Style for its bible.
AP style: "Use commas to separate elements in a series, but do not put a
comma before the conjunction in a simple series."
Chicago [5.50]:In a series consisting of three or more elements, the
elements are separated by commas. When a conjunction joins the last two
elements in a series, a comma is used before the conjunction.
I _much_ prefer the Chicago style, because to me, it is more clear. The
ambiguity resulting from deleting that last comma isn't worth the
"savings" of a single byte, in my opinion.
Mike Sawyer o-
CallWare Technologies, Inc.
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