Econ 479

The Art of Writing, the Science of Economics

When to Use a Comma, Part 1

A well-placed comma, o colleagues, is a thing of beauty—and, this being a blog about economics, of utility as well. Here’s one useful digest of how to employ the comma, and here’s another.An oddment of comma history may also come in handy: the punctuation mark evolved as a prompt to the reader to take a breath when reading aloud. Although this commentator warns against using that bit of trivia as a guideline, I encourage you to read your work aloud before submitting it (I’ll repeat this injunction often) and to consider whether a comma might be inserted at just that point when your breath begins to run short.International students will note that American English uses the comma more liberally than does British English. The reasons are many and complex. Here’s a starting point, if you’d like to explore the divergence.

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Written by gregorymcnamee

December 8, 2007 at 6:29 pm

Posted in Mechanics of writing

Tagged with ,

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