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October 01, 2012

Comments

Paula Diaco

Thank you Lynn. I was just wondering recently about how to handle consecutive adjectives. Now I can refer to this and be correct in my writing. In my first sentence, is there supposed to be a comma between you and Lynn?

James

Great post, Lynn. You've helped clarify an issue I've run into in the past.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Paula. I am happy to be helpful.

Yes, you need a comma between "you" and "Lynn." The reason is direct address. When you address the reader, you need one or more commas to set off the reader's name. This rule has become blurred because of the popular "Hi Paula" and "Hello Paula," which traditionally had commas. (I still use them.)

Thanks for stoppping by. I hope things are going well at Sign-A-Rama Vermont.

Lynn

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Thanks, James. Glad to hear it!

Lynn

Lisa Marie

Thanks for this post, Lynn! I have always wondered exactly why some phrases like this needed commas and some did not. This is a helpful explanation.

Can I ask you to provide your reasoning for the answer to question #3 in the quiz? I had thought that a comma would have been necessary between "old" and "blue."

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Lisa Marie. Thanks for the question. I made my decision on how the sentences sound.

For Test 1, "He still drives the old and blue Oldsmobile" does not flow, in my opinion. It's not the way we speak about cars.

For Test 2, "He still drives the blue old Oldsmobile" does not sound right either.

For Test 3, "He still drives the Oldsmobile, which is old and blue," also doesn't sound right to me.

Beyond the tests, I believe the Oldsmobile has always been blue and has become old. Therefore, "blue" and "old" are not equal.

Does this explanation make sense? I realize it is based on ear, so there is room for us to have different views.

Lynn

Lisa Marie

Thanks for answering my question, Lynn. Your explanation about how the Oldsmobile has always been blue but has *become* old over time was very helpful to me. Now I understand why they're not equal and would therefore not need the comma.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

I am glad to be helpful.

Lynn

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