Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Knowledge Tuesday: Direct Address Commas


Today, I would like to talk a little about commas. Yes, they are dreaded little things, and I don't know every rule out there about them, but there is one thing I've realized lately in manuscripts I've read where the comma is lacking.

These are the direct address commas. 

Yes, commas do save lives. 

The direct address comma is simple: use a comma with the name of a person you are directly addressing. If the name comes first, it is followed by a comma:
Bob, can you grab that pen for me?

If the name comes at the end of the sentence, the comma precedes the name:
I don't know what time it is, Jill.

And if the name (or names) comes in the middle of the sentence, surround it with commas:
You know, Philip, I can't go out with you on Saturday.

So, everyone, I hope you learned a little bit about direct address commas and will be willing to save lives by adding those pesky commas where they are needed.

After all, no one really wants to eat Grandpa. *grins*


Nicole Zoltack said...

LOL I'm sure Grandpa's everywhere are thrilled with this post. ;)

Cherie Reich said...

LOL! I hope so. :)

Hannah said...

Hahaha! That is an awesome lesson. I approve.

Cherie Reich said...

Thanks, Hannah!

Talli Roland said...

Thanks for the comma advice, Cherie!

Cherie Reich said...

You're welcome, Talli!

Rachel Searles said...

Oh my goodness, I think I spent a full minute just laughing at that motivational poster :)

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Cherie,
My editor caught a lot of these mistakes. I don't know what it is about writing a story, it is so easy to miss the simple things.
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Cherie Reich said...

Rachel - I know! It was so funny, I had to use it.

Nancy - I know what you mean about being involved in the story and not noticing these things. As a proofreader, it's become my job to notice them. After all, the consequences of lacking a comma could completely change the sentence.

Lydia Kang said...

I always need some tweaking in the grammar department, so thank you!
Nice to meet you and your blog!

Cherie Reich said...

Welcome, Lydia! And, you're the 50th followers too! Yay! Time for a contest!