Dictionary.com

What does this guy have to do with the comma? He invented it.

aldus manutius

The comma’s ancestors have been used since Ancient Greece, but the modern comma descended directly from Italian printer Aldus Manutius. (He’s also responsible for italics and the semicolon!) In the late 1400s when Manutius was working, a slash mark (/, also called a virgule) denoted a pause in speech. (Virgule is still the word for comma in French.) Manutius made the slash lower in relation to the line of text and curved it slightly. In the 1500s, this new mark acquired the old Greek name “comma”. The word comma literally meant “a piece cut off” from the Greek word koptein meaning ”to cut off”.

Other than the period, the comma is the most common punctuation mark in English, but the little mark is often misunderstood and misused, even by native speakers. The comma plays an important role in the sentence because it tells a reader when to pause briefly. When should the comma be used? The comma is often used to separate items in a list as in the sentence: “Mark went to the store to buy eggs, bread, milk, and blueberries.” The third comma in that sentence is the topic of much debate. That comma—before “and”—is called the “serial comma” or the “series comma.”  Some usage conventions require a serial comma, but others do not. Whether or not to use a serial comma can also depend on the items in the list. Consider this sentence: “For breakfast, Mary had an apple, toast and jam, and coffee.” Without the final comma the sentence would be unclear. She isn’t eating jam with coffee, so a serial comma clarifies the situation.

Commas are also used to separate independent clauses when a conjunction is used, as in the compound sentence: “Mark went to the store, and he bought eggs, bread, milk, and blueberries.” Commas have many other uses as well. When an entire phrase may be removed from a sentence, commas are used to set the phrase apart. Take this as an example: “Shelia, reconsidering her options, did not want to go to the movie.” In a similar fashion, they set off introductory participle phrases as in: “Reading over her notes, Julie realized she missed an important detail.”

Do you know what an em dash is? Test your punctuation knowledge here.

For a more exhaustive analysis of comma usage, see Ben Yagoda’s recent article in The New York Times.

Do you use the comma regularly? What do you think of the helpful, little mark?

214 Comments

  1. wolf tamer and coal miner -  February 12, 2014 - 3:17 am

    I specifically went looking for “Cyberquill’s” comment. As always, it did not fail to amuse me. :)

    Reply
  2. wolf tamer and coal miner -  February 12, 2014 - 3:15 am

    Thank you, Aldus Manutius, for a very useful, helpful, and sentence-clarifying punctuation mark. Of course I use it all the time!

    Do serial killers use serial commas? :P

    Reply
  3. Nick Harrison -  October 10, 2013 - 2:34 am

    I love the use of punctuation in language. The comma, along with the period or full stop (I’m English) imbue the text with rhythm and dynamics. I am a percussionist and appreciate the importance of this. I am also a father who used to read to his daughter. Try doing that without commas.

    Reply
  4. Johnny B. -  July 25, 2013 - 10:03 pm

    ittsee on June 4, 2012 at 3:54 pm
    “I am appalled at the ignorance shown by some of the commentators.
    Of course, commas are important. Any idiot knows that. I use them in speech quite a lot?!”

    Read more at http://hotword.dictionary.com/comma/#eZJIRbd90VTpgGQf.99

    I think you should familiarize yourself with ‘Gaudere’s Law’.

    First, I think that you meant ‘commenters’, not ‘commentators’.
    Second, you should have placed YOUR comma between ‘important and
    Any’.
    Lastly, what’s up with the question mark? You weren’t asking a question, you were making a comment. Just sayin’… ;-)

    Reply
  5. theroadnottaken -  October 6, 2012 - 5:08 am

    I love using the comma! (Though I think I might overuse it too much sometimes). Very interesting information by the way.

    Reply
  6. Erin -  July 9, 2012 - 5:45 pm

    I, passionately love commas. I passionately, love commas. Passionately, I love commas.

    Reply
  7. Joe -  June 16, 2012 - 2:08 pm

    Hey, sherryyu didn’t capitalize his/hers “I”. just saying.

    Reply
  8. sherryyu -  June 9, 2012 - 2:44 pm

    its a so-so punctionlation mark i like the semicolon better but my favorite is the colon

    Reply
  9. Mangala -  June 6, 2012 - 9:14 pm

    Those who have made adverse comments surely haven’t been told the importance of the punctuation marks!!! Hope they have learnt from some of the informative comments.
    Had it not been for the punctuation marks, a written language would not have made sense and even caused many misunderstandings! Thank God for the contribution of all these people. Learnt something new today! Kudos to you!

    Reply
  10. alex -  June 5, 2012 - 8:48 am

    wow

    Reply
  11. ittsee -  June 4, 2012 - 3:54 pm

    I am appalled at the ignorance shown by some of the commentators.
    Of course, commas are important. Any idiot knows that. I use them in speech quite a lot?!

    Reply
  12. Aullikxanthien -  June 3, 2012 - 9:29 pm

    I’m still confused by this sentence, “Mark went to the store to buy eggs, bread, milk, and blueberries”… I understand the other examples and the explanations, but on this sentence, I don’t get it why do you have to put the serial comma before the last item on the list when you already have the word “and”. The “blueberries” in the sentence is not being separated from the other items on the list, it’s actually included IN THE LIST. Can someone explain this? What’s the function of the serial comma in this sentence?

    Reply
  13. CptGuapo -  June 2, 2012 - 12:24 pm

    We call it “vírgula” in Brazilian Portuguese. Same as “virgule” in French.

    Reply
  14. Peter Kershaw -  June 2, 2012 - 8:09 am

    @Leah Petersen and others who may have missed Cyberquill’s note.

    Leah, you asked about the comma in the following sentence:

    “Mark went to the store, and he bought eggs, bread, milk, and blueberries.”

    As Cyberquill has already noted, dropping the third person singular subject pronoun, he, vitiates the need for the comma:
    “Mark went to the store and bought eggs, bread, milk, and blueberries.”

    For contrast, consider this one:
    “Mark went to the store, where he bought A, B, and C.”
    That’s not the same as:
    “Mark went to the store where he bought A, B, and C”,
    which is the same as:
    “Mark went to the store at which he [had] bought A,B, and C.”
    In both of the latter two sentences, Mark returned to the store; we cannot tell if he was returning to the store in the first sentence. There are technical names for the phrases and structures of all three sentences, but the more important thing is to learn the structures and to apply punctuation to activate them!

    Our language is subtle and flexible; it allows loads of creative ambiguity.

    The comma is a powerful structural and semantic tool. Yes, punctuation has semantic content! Without punctuation, our writing is far less clear and prone to destructive ambiguity; it also requires additional, real-time parsing. I prefer to read the works of people who appreciate the power of punctuation. When I see poor punctuation, or worse, none at all, I know I’m reading the work of a literary dunce, one who isn’t concerned with communication. Accordingly, I stop reading.

    Learning a little about punctuation isn’t a difficult task. Indeed, for the quick study, check out the Schaum’s Outline titled “Punctuation, Capitalization, and Spelling”, 2nd Ed., by Eugene Ehrlich

    Closing note: Notice that the sentence “Mark went to the store to buy A,B, and C” conveys an intent not explicitly implied in “Mark went to the store and bought A, B, and C.”

    I hope those of you who detest long entries haven’t tortured yourselves to the very end of this entry…

    And utterly finally, @Mary Torres: “The trouble, dear Brutus, is not in the stars; it is in ourselves.”

    pkentropy

    Reply
  15. Ella Phino -  June 1, 2012 - 8:03 am

    Commas are used for a brief pause. Comas are much longer pauses.

    Reply
  16. Truth Hunter -  June 1, 2012 - 6:50 am

    Nevada,

    My understanding of quotation marks are as follows:

    “My dog is a lab,” she said.
    “My dog is a lab.” Mary then turned to stroke her dog’s head.
    Mary said, “On the cafeteria menu today were pizza, chicken fingers, mashed potatoes, and something dubbed ‘seafood surprise’.”

    I’d like to know what Dale thinks. Being a professional I’m inclined to listen to him. But I’d still like advice about how to use a semi-colon other than before ‘however’ or ‘therefore’ etc.

    Reply
  17. wordy -  June 1, 2012 - 5:40 am

    Comma,comma,comma,comma,comma chameleon! .
    I know,I know,sorry couldn’t help myself.

    Reply
  18. Claudia -  June 1, 2012 - 5:36 am

    I love me some commas, but when people use it, every, second, word, it, gets, really, annoying.

    I wish people knew how to use them properly.

    Reply
  19. ryan -  June 1, 2012 - 4:30 am

    this is a new insight i really don’t know its history but now i know thanks!!!!!!!

    Reply
  20. ahmed 19 -  June 1, 2012 - 3:17 am

    i put COMMA when i realize that the sentences do make sense

    Reply
  21. Commacon -  May 31, 2012 - 8:20 pm

    Honestly, I thought the comma was invented when modern style type writing was. Who knew the Greeks would invent such a thing! And we use it still today! That only adds to the fact that history’s discoveries can make great changes to our present, past, and furtune.

    Reply
  22. Dummy -  May 31, 2012 - 7:45 pm

    -_-! Really STUPID! I thought we actually used comma wrong! X( Hmph! >:(

    Reply
  23. Harry -  May 31, 2012 - 7:31 pm

    Personally, I find the comma very useful. Especially when told to make sentences longer etc. Please, people LEARN TO USE AND APPRECIATE THE COMMA! I am a man of few words, thankyou..

    Reply
  24. Paula -  May 31, 2012 - 7:13 pm

    Law student on May 31, 2012 at 7:00 am
    “I hate the comma because it is complicated and confusing however it does provide some enjoyment but I still think it is as a whole trivial lame and remedially pointless; :-p”

    If you really were a law student, your instructors (or proffessors, or whatever) would have a heart attack at your statement.

    Reply
  25. Paula -  May 31, 2012 - 7:07 pm

    toulo on May 29, 2012 at 3:13 pm
    “i hate the comma thats one more thing that doesent make sence that we have to lern in school”

    This makes me cry.

    Reply
  26. Mackenzie -  May 31, 2012 - 6:28 pm

    @Sarah,

    LOL that was funny

    Reply
  27. Rachele Towers -  May 31, 2012 - 5:46 pm

    @toulo
    Now, I know I’m going to sound like a “hater”, but, quite honestly, the comma is extremely important. If I hadn’t put the comma in the correct places in the previous sentence, would it have made sense? Also, perhaps the comma isn’t the only thing you don’t like to learn about in school. Capitalization, spelling, and puncuation would be good for you to learn. I’m sorry if I sound cruel, but I just thought I’d be honest.

    @Hattie
    I’m supposed to be doing history notes. My mom is already complaining.

    Reply
    • yuggy -  August 19, 2014 - 5:13 pm

      stfu

      Reply
  28. MEG -  May 31, 2012 - 5:11 pm

    and I LOVE it!!!

    Reply
  29. MEG -  May 31, 2012 - 5:10 pm

    I, for one, believe that I use the comma correctly.

    Reply
  30. Sean -  May 31, 2012 - 5:10 pm

    How are there so many dumb comments on every article?

    Reply
  31. Sean Mathews -  May 31, 2012 - 4:39 pm

    I love your website. The info on the comma was delightful. There is one minor problem, however. In America we virtually always place puctuation inside quotation marks. The only exception to this rule is in the case of semi colons and colons. The British place everything outside quotation marks, but they lost the war.

    Reply
  32. Truelexi -  May 31, 2012 - 4:00 pm

    @Young

    Pssh. No need to be sarcastic…. >.>

    And as I said, it actually makes words or sentences easier to understand… Obviously. Sheesh.

    Reply
  33. mysteryman -  May 31, 2012 - 3:50 pm

    lets eat grandma …. lets eat, grandma….
    eats, shoots, and leaves…. eats shoots and leaves….

    punctuation really does save lives………….. :-P

    Reply
  34. Kurt Hennig -  May 31, 2012 - 1:22 pm

    Here, is, my, comma,ment:
    Commas, are, generally, a, bona, fide, discomfort, in, the, posterior, since, I, never, know, where, they, apply, and, where, they, don’t.
    I, know, they, are, always, in, the, “Handyman”, song, but, who, knows, where, else?
    Thank, You, and, as, Bartles, &, James, would, say, in, the, 80′s, ads
    “Thank You for your support”

    Reply
  35. Hippo -  May 31, 2012 - 1:20 pm

    people that post messages on essays on the comma need to get a life

    Reply
  36. mary torres so loved -  May 31, 2012 - 11:39 am

    commas r dumb

    Reply
  37. Nevada -  May 31, 2012 - 11:06 am

    I, for one, am happy to learn that I have been using commas correctly, despite having been out of school for many years. However, I am curious about how some of our more English-inclined friends feel about quotation marks and punctuation marks. For example:

    On the cafeteria menu today were pizza, chicken fingers, mashed potatoes, and something dubbed “seafood surprise”.

    They teach us to /always/ place the punctuation inside the quotation marks, regardless of its content, but it doesn’t feel right to me. My English teacher in college shared my sentiment: It seems more prudent to leave it outside when it has nothing to do with what’s inside.

    It will be interesting to see a blog post concerning this rule, and whether it is “bendable”.

    Reply
  38. Dale Bryant -  May 31, 2012 - 10:41 am

    I love commas, and em dashes and semi-colons, too. As a newspaper editor, I usually delete commas before “and.”

    Many of our young reporters love run-on sentences, and I think it’s because they’ve never heard of a semi-colon. Commas seldom take the place of a good old-fashioned period, but you’d never know it by some of the sentences I see on a daily basis..

    Reply
  39. Aamer Azhar -  May 31, 2012 - 10:24 am

    Beside some people what they think about “comma”, I know 1 thing, great people think great. So, in my opinion “comma” is very helpful and it never bother most of us. It is also a fact that most of us including me have no knowledge where to actually put comma.

    Reply
  40. RachelAllison -  May 31, 2012 - 9:47 am

    The comments on this are quite entertaining.

    Reply
  41. Tam -  May 31, 2012 - 9:42 am

    Commas in series are important:
    Consider—
    “She wore a light blue blazer.”
    “She wore a light, blue blazer.”
    Without the comma, “light” is correctly inferred to be an adverb (modifying blue). With the comma, “light” modifies the blazer.

    Reply
  42. Paul T -  May 31, 2012 - 9:42 am

    “She isn’t eating jam with coffee,…”

    Indeed, but she is eating toast with jam. So…

    For breakfast, Mary had an apple, toast with jam, and coffee.

    Reply
  43. Didi -  May 31, 2012 - 9:42 am

    It’s cool. It would be better if everyone used it in the same way.

    Reply
  44. TJ -  May 31, 2012 - 9:34 am

    How about learning to use your end quotes correctly? Only in computer programs and other special cases (to clarify meaning) do the end quotes precede a period.

    Reply
  45. munmoona -  May 31, 2012 - 8:46 am

    comma is just a little girl standing beside the ogre, semicolon. :{

    Reply
  46. Touche -  May 31, 2012 - 8:37 am

    To be frank, I never see use for a comma.

    Reply
  47. Truth Hunter -  May 31, 2012 - 8:29 am

    I think I use the comma properly, but I’d really like to know the purpose of the semi-colon. I know, whole other topic, but I thought I’d throw it out there.

    Reply
  48. Sharp -  May 31, 2012 - 8:27 am

    I am very interested in reading this article. I use the comma a lot, but I would think I use it wrong. I basicly use it so people understand the change in my thoughts, it’s the pause between things to stop and think. The comma makes a big difference in what a sentance can mean. With a single comma it can make a huge change in the same sentance. I will attempt to think up one later, but still just a pause and change in what I am thinking.

    Reply
  49. DrKnowItAll -  May 31, 2012 - 8:10 am

    As a teacher, I find the comma rules useful as a way of explaining to students how sentences are put together.

    Reply
  50. Brownie -  May 31, 2012 - 7:35 am

    I believe the comma is a brilliant form of punctuation, especially in Genesis 2:22. It symbolizes the powerful pause that seperates the creation of woman from the presentation of woman…to man. I love to say, “Don’t be a drama queen, be a comma queen!” Commas = patience = a little nugget of wisdom that is often underestimated and overlooked.

    Reply
  51. Law student -  May 31, 2012 - 7:00 am

    I hate the comma because it is complicated and confusing however it does provide some enjoyment but I still think it is as a whole trivial lame and remedially pointless; :-p

    Reply
  52. Bubba -  May 31, 2012 - 6:57 am

    Reading all these comma comments has rendered me comma-tose from over dose.

    Reply
  53. Sylva Portoian, MD -  May 31, 2012 - 6:20 am

    Thanks for your article…
    This article was needed…and is needed
    Until we got rid of many commas…

    View the enormous response…!
    Every comma I insert …
    It looks for me as another word…
    Blocking my ideas to continue…Hence
    Confuses me so much
    When I stanzate my verses
    That I refused passionately…
    Decisive…Never to use…

    Comma is never a poetic friend
    It limits the senses
    No more you can breathe…inspire…creed…

    As I don’t know where to insert the comma
    Thus…Where to avoid…
    So I enjoy to put three dots… (…)
    Three dots gives me time to think
    To think infinitely…Never to end
    Till I can’t sight my destiny…
    Thanks to my friend…
    Who read what I feel…I felt…

    Sylva-MD-Poetry
    Written instantly

    Reply
  54. Charles -  May 31, 2012 - 5:51 am

    It is mainly used for when you combine two sentences, such as… It is mainly used as two sentences. It is such as. See what I did there? Combined the two with an example. Booya Baby!

    Reply
  55. Harridan -  May 31, 2012 - 5:33 am

    English needs more comma rules and no omitting options. In my language there are a ton of rules regarding the comma and correct usage makes reading of long, complex sentences much easier. Unfortunately, half (or ever more) of the comments are a proof that the educational system is failing.

    Reply
  56. Stargazer -  May 31, 2012 - 5:23 am

    EEP

    Reply
  57. Alexandra -  May 31, 2012 - 5:20 am

    Not wanting to sound like a nerd here, but I think the comma is pretty cool. I do think that the comma is very complicated to use, and it’s hard to appreciate the comma’s usefulness, but it does make sentences much more comprehensible. GEEZ, I SOUND LIKE AN ENGLISH TEACHER, I’M IN MIDDLE SCHOOL HERE!

    Reply
  58. Karson Harper -  May 31, 2012 - 4:24 am

    Incase we forget, comma’s importance is for the readers to catch breath.

    Reply
  59. LOL -  May 31, 2012 - 2:36 am

    commas r boring.
    e.g. hello.my name is LOL. I like the word LOL. i think commas are stupid. do u ? Ps LOL PPS LOLOL PPPS LOLOLOL PPPPS LOLOLOLOL

    see what I mean!

    Reply
  60. brewstefer -  May 31, 2012 - 2:31 am

    Such was the commatose verbiage of the idiocracy, that the comma, a graceful necessity to help chunk words, big or little, met such a fate at the hands of commasense, which all readers apparently, are imbued with to a fitful degree of their limited literate understanding. The comma, thank god, subscribes to commanism, an ideology that empowers each word according to its needs. Now, let’s eat Grandpa!

    Reply
  61. punctuationlover -  May 31, 2012 - 2:13 am

    Mooneagle, comma is not stupid. You are!

    Gwenneth, you are witty.

    I would love to say more but I have got to get up and cook dinner. I will be then able to say: Let’s eat, Grandpa!, instead of saying: Let’s eat Grandpa.

    Reply
  62. James -  May 31, 2012 - 2:09 am

    @Jeanette and Kim:
    That rule exists only in American English, and seems silly to me. If I’m quoting a sentence that had a full stop in, I’d put the full stop inside the quotation marks, else, I’d leave it outside.

    See:
    Last week I finished reading that book.
    I finished reading “Moby Dick” last week.
    Last week I finished reading “Moby Dick”.

    The book is not called “Moby Dick Full Stop”, but rather just “Moby Dick”.

    Reply
  63. ResTalis -  May 31, 2012 - 2:01 am

    «The word comma literally meant “a piece cut off” from the Greek word koptein meaning ”to cut off”.»
    Really? Aren’t those two a little too different to have something in common? Wouldn’t rather this “comma” come from Latin “coma”? In English, it means “mane” like in “horse’s mane” – something that goes around more explicit, like “a point with a mane” (Lat. “punctum cum coma”).

    Reply
  64. yeyitskristin -  May 31, 2012 - 12:53 am

    I CONSTANTLY use the comma, not that I really know when to properly use it. As for the serial comma, we have a somewhat bittersweet relationship. When I do use it my professors mark it wrong, which is super annoying. When I don’t use it they tell me I need another comma in there, what the hell? Can’t anyone make up their minds? Basically, English is complicated. Besides, with the informalities of the web creeping their way into English papers, I’m better off misplacing a comma than using “bc” or “w/.”

    Reply
  65. Andrés -  May 31, 2012 - 12:40 am

    How moving an deleting commas can change the meaning of a sentence:
    “The President, says the teacher, is a fool”

    “The President says, the teacher is a fool”

    See the importance of the use of the comma?

    Reply
  66. simon -  May 31, 2012 - 12:29 am

    the comma is useful, especially in writing dialogue for actors, it’s gives you the chance to direct their patterns of speech without them knowing it. hahahahaha

    Reply
  67. MT -  May 30, 2012 - 10:55 pm

    @MoonEagle I agree

    Reply
  68. Heidi -  May 30, 2012 - 9:57 pm

    Jeanette Thompson who wrote

    Thanks for the tip…did you know that whoever typed this article used the period and quote mark incorrectly? Periods and commas fall inside quote marks. No exceptions.

    OK, where in the article do the periods and commas NOT fall inside the quote marks? BTW, there ARE exceptions.

    Reply
  69. ludy -  May 30, 2012 - 9:13 pm

    I am happy, you are OK about the comma. These are very interesting comments. I hope that young people,learn about this.Sorry , I don!t know english well, but the comma, yeeeeeees

    Reply
  70. Sara -  May 30, 2012 - 9:12 pm

    The comma is really very important and can save lives even.

    e.g. Let’s eat Grandma.
    Let’s eat, Grandma.

    Reply
  71. WestieBoy -  May 30, 2012 - 9:03 pm

    “serial comma” (the comma before an “and”) is an invention of Amerglish.

    The English rule goes something like “NEVER put a comma before a conjunction UNLESS it is ‘but’ or ‘because’”.

    A list has, for at least the last half-century, always ended with an “and” between the last and second-to-last elements.

    English speakers know how to group multiple “and”s so the “…, toast and jam and coffee” is a simple task.

    Try the example of the Fish and Chip shop owner talking to the signwriter: “I want a six inch gap between ‘Fish’ and ‘and’ and ‘and’ and ‘Chips’”. Not so hard at all ;-)

    Reply
  72. Makenzie -  May 30, 2012 - 8:46 pm

    I personally love commas. That’s probably because I tend to use them often when writing stories. I suppose this could indicate that I’m just making my sentences entirely too long, but oh well. I guess commas can get a bit annoying, however, if you don’t know how to use them correctly. My English teacher once told us that the best way to decide where to put the comma is to read the sentence out loud or in your head, and listen for where you pause momentarily. But I suppose that doesn’t always work… still, I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s stupid.

    Reply
  73. Tom -  May 30, 2012 - 8:45 pm

    If you don’t use the Harvard comma, you’re an idiot.

    Reply
  74. kwokodile -  May 30, 2012 - 7:21 pm

    I love the comma, and I couldn’t live without it. (:

    Reply
  75. Nicola -  May 30, 2012 - 7:14 pm

    I like commas. I disagree, however, about using one before a conjunction.

    Reply
  76. Shy -  May 30, 2012 - 6:53 pm

    Oops. This sounds better

    It’s amazing. So many of the same people who previously commented that they do not like commas cannot spell or form sentences correctly, either. Example: Toulo said,
    “i hate the comma thats one more thing that doesent make sence that we have to lern in school”

    Reply
  77. Shy -  May 30, 2012 - 6:51 pm

    It’s amazing. So many of the same people who previously commented that say they do not like commas cannot spell or form sentences correctly, either. Example: Toulo said,
    “i hate the comma thats one more thing that doesent make sence that we have to lern in school”

    Reply
  78. Oz -  May 30, 2012 - 6:51 pm

    I think the comma is weird now. Don’t you think so?

    Reply
  79. GalacticPresidentSuperstarMcAwesomeVille -  May 30, 2012 - 6:50 pm

    BEST, INVENTION, EVER,

    Reply
  80. Angelo -  May 30, 2012 - 6:49 pm

    Joseph, you mean as opposed to telling the truth tomorrow? Interesting point.

    Reply
  81. Michelle -  May 30, 2012 - 6:43 pm

    @Mel,

    if you’re a guy, then it’s okay…

    if you’re a girl….then you’ve got some problems….

    (you like periods)

    LOL only i would think of that

    Reply
  82. Mackenzie -  May 30, 2012 - 6:42 pm

    LOL today i took an editing quiz (you edit sentences) in language arts, and i would’ve failed if i didn’t add any commas!!!

    of course that would apply to any piece of writing for a class

    come to think of it, though, i only used three commas in my whole comment!!

    exclamation points are my thing!!!!!!!! yeah!!
    i think i used correct grammar, too (ok, so now five commas)
    I’M IN ADVANCED LANGUAGE ARTS!
    SO please don’t judge me by a comment!!! my annoying language arts teacher gives soooo much homework….and I’m only in 6th grade!

    Reply
  83. Catherine Alexander -  May 30, 2012 - 6:38 pm

    Just reading a few of these comments makes me wonder about the future of civilization. The errors in punctuation and spelling, the random (and often completely missing) capitalization, and incoherent sentences make me cringe with despair. Apparently few of the writers have been graduated from elementary school. And apparently they do very little reading, since it would seem that the practice of gazing at properly-written English phrases would sink in at some point.

    Reply
  84. Matt -  May 30, 2012 - 6:20 pm

    @ Joseph.

    Walter Veith is of the opinion that the comma is misplaced in that biblical verse. He forgets that there were a great many proofreaders (among the King James Bible translators) who accepted the placement of the comma as it is written.

    Reply
  85. Cyberquill -  May 30, 2012 - 6:19 pm

    @Leah Petersen: The comma after “store” belongs there because the “he” turns what comes after the “and” into a whole sentence:

    “Mark went to the store, and he bought eggs, bread, milk, and blueberries.”

    You could skip the “and” and write:

    “Mark went to the store. He bought eggs, bread, milk, and blueberries.”

    If you skipped the “he,” you’d have to drop the comma:

    “Mark went to the store and bought eggs, bread, milk, and blueberries.”

    @Sylvia: The comma between “helpful” and “little” does NOT belong there, because the little mark is helpful, i.e., it’s a helpful little mark. The “little” modifies “mark” and the “helpful” modifies “little mark.” Surely, wouldn’t write “the beautiful, blue sky” but “the beautiful blue sky.”

    Reply
  86. Dennis -  May 30, 2012 - 6:14 pm

    I,Hate,commas,because, I never, know, when,and, when not, to, use, them,

    Reply
  87. Matt -  May 30, 2012 - 6:11 pm

    Can people stop writing long paragraphs here, please? I just skip them anyway. The only long input that caught my attention was Sylvia’s. That’s one smart lady.

    Written text without punctuation gives me the impression of the writer, that he or she is a very active person who takes matters lightly. Someone without many problems. A party-goer, an athlete, an outgoing person. A possible entrepreneur. Someone who doesn’t have time to waste. That’s my immediate analysis.

    When I chat, I use way too much punctuation. And so, when I compare my sentences with others’, I find my communication boring and complex beyond necessity. I am cutting down on the punctuations for that reason.

    Reply
  88. Stad -  May 30, 2012 - 5:54 pm

    The comma is critical, of course I love it. Anyone who says otherwise here clearly doesn’t understand English

    Reply
  89. QQ:1079573264 -  May 30, 2012 - 5:52 pm

    …….

    Reply
  90. 3 ppl: Me, Myself, and I -  May 30, 2012 - 5:10 pm

    In my first comment, it was supposed to say:
    “Keep up the good work, Dictionary. <–I guess some people prefer this sentence, without the comma, instead: Keep up the good work Dictionary."

    Reply
  91. bella -  May 30, 2012 - 5:09 pm

    i have no comments

    Reply
  92. 3 ppl: Me, Myself, and I -  May 30, 2012 - 5:07 pm

    I just noticed that the teeth in the smileys in my comment look yellow. 0o

    Reply
  93. 3 ppl: Me, Myself, and I -  May 30, 2012 - 5:06 pm

    Bob K, Rosencantz, & many others, thank you for your points. The comma is, though small, a very significant invention- one of the most important and greatest in history. If commas are something to yawn about, then why do we always use them? They are NOT boring, nor are they a hateful subject. (Well, they shouldn’t be. Who ever heard of having a grudge against a comma?) We learn about them in school so that when we write our sentences, we may do it properly and it is readable. They show when to pause while reading/writing a sentence, instead of stopping like a period. To further express my point, would you be able to read all this without commas? Commas are one type of punctuation that make sense and helps make sense. I’m finished lecturing.
    @Johann, Lol. I totally agree. :)

    COMMAS ROCK!!!! :D Keep up the good work, Dictionary. Keep up the good work Dictionary. [;

    P.S. I think I’m an awesome person =P

    Reply
  94. Emma Jadeite -  May 30, 2012 - 3:53 pm

    I never really noticed how much I used commas until someone pointed it out recently. And I have to say, I really do love them! I’m a writer, so naturally I like most punctuation marks. I cannot stand when people use commas majorly incorrectly or use other marks incorrectly. It just makes everything look ridiculous! But yes, definitely love the comma. Probably my favorite!

    EJ

    Reply
  95. animal-lover3 -  May 30, 2012 - 3:52 pm

    p.s. I honor @M. K. Lincoln!

    Reply
  96. animal-lover3 -  May 30, 2012 - 3:51 pm

    Also, I have read a book called Eats, Shoots, and Leaves about the many uses of the comma, when to use it correctly, and how commas can totally change the meaning of sentences when not used in the right way. I am a stickler for grammar, and while editing my peers’ works, I have encouraged them to use the Oxford comma and two spaces after a period. I also badger them when they use commas incorrectly or leave one out (among many other grammar, mechanics, spelling, and usage mistakes).

    Reply
  97. Jolly Jim -  May 30, 2012 - 3:39 pm

    The comma is a very, very, very indispensable tool of the English language, for without it, it would be like living without food.

    Reply
  98. Maddie -  May 30, 2012 - 3:37 pm

    I personally love the comma. I’m a writer, so I think it’s very helpful when I use dialogue or give a setting description and stuff like that :)

    Reply
  99. dcooper -  May 30, 2012 - 3:35 pm

    I don’t know about using the comma before the conjunction in a simple sentence containing two independent clauses.

    It seems very awkward. Really, we don’t need to pause to gather our thoughts or clarify the morphemic content.

    I would drop it in this instance.

    Reply
  100. KirbyStarWarrior -  May 30, 2012 - 3:33 pm

    Writing has always been better with commas. Commas make a sentence flow more easily. Take the sentence “Mark ate a snack and drank milk and then went to school.” Then take the sentence “Mark ate a snack, drank milk, and then went to school.” Which one sounds better? The second one, right? Without commas, our sentences sound rather clumsy at times. a comma may be an extra character we will need to learn but then again it makes our writing sound better and smoother and more professional. By the way, that sentence had no commas. Did it sound clumsy? That’s because there were no commas to improve the sentence structure, thus further proving my point. Commas are good, so let’s keep them around.

    Reply
  101. animal-lover3 -  May 30, 2012 - 3:31 pm

    I love the comma. I use the Oxford comma whenever I feel it’s necessary.

    Reply
  102. frankie -  May 30, 2012 - 2:59 pm

    truelexi, you spelled ‘honestly’ wrong. one ‘e’, not two.

    honestly, perhaps you should simply learn how to properly utilize punctuation instead of merely hating it because you don’t understand its value. cheers.

    Reply
  103. Eugene Johnson -  May 30, 2012 - 2:52 pm

    To truely appreciate the beauty of the comma, one must first understand, it seperates the beginners from the pros.

    Reply
  104. k -  May 30, 2012 - 2:45 pm

    now i know how to use commas

    Reply
  105. Katia -  May 30, 2012 - 2:42 pm

    I love comas! :)
    I always feel like I’m using them too much, because hardly anyone uses them anymore. That bothers me, and I’m only 15!

    Reply
  106. Ben -  May 30, 2012 - 2:39 pm

    The comma can used in a lot of different ways but I like it the way it is.

    Reply
  107. joe -  May 30, 2012 - 2:34 pm

    love it thank you!!

    Reply
  108. ZiasRaven -  May 30, 2012 - 2:24 pm

    Above should have read “And, in American schools, have had many an essay returned to me shot full of read “delete” marks. Thank you.

    -Z

    Reply
  109. Jam-a-lam -  May 30, 2012 - 2:21 pm

    *GASP* there are others?! like me?! who ADORE things such as this?! I LOVE the comma.. and ellipses.. and exclamation points.. and coupling question marks and exclamation points.. *sniffle* I’m not alone in this world, after all..

    Reply
  110. ZiasRaven -  May 30, 2012 - 2:21 pm

    I was taught ENGLISH, and I use the serial comma as a matter of habit…when it is appropriate. And, in American schools, returned to me shot full of red “delete” marks. However, I stood by my guns, and accepted the final grade with pride. *smiles puckishly*

    -Z

    Reply
  111. shirley -  May 30, 2012 - 2:13 pm

    Love the comma….always have, and always will, ok?

    Reply
  112. Mika -  May 30, 2012 - 2:04 pm

    I have recently begun my course at my high school. I have “Summer Work” as she calls it. My teacher gave us a packet, and I will soon begin my first assignments of 9th grade. In the packet there appeared a single page on the use of the comma. I will find much joy and humor in telling my English teacher she is incorrect.

    Reply
  113. Ben Dover -  May 30, 2012 - 2:02 pm

    Leah Peterson said, “I don’t get the comma after ‘store’ in this one:
    ‘Mark went to the store, and he bought eggs, bread, milk, and blueberries’.”

    I don’t either. I’d have used a semicolon to separate the two clauses, because the list was already separated by commas.

    Reply
  114. SplatterPaterns -  May 30, 2012 - 1:55 pm

    I think the current fashion is for under use much more than misuse – misuse implying inclusion but not omission. I’ll stand by that, even in face of the rather good joke whose punch line severs as the title of Lynne Truss’ book and Cyberquill’s (May 29, 4:39 pm) comment.

    Now I see that Key (May 30, 10:36 am), with an excellent comment, makes adjective listing simple, where before I had always depended on my “ear”, quite often a fallible sensor.

    With just the comma, period, and question and quote marks serving in nearly all situations, punctuation makes comprehension much easier for the reader. That is surely an aim for any person writing in earnest, although, that maybe a minority of those commenting here. And, it enables much livelier sentences and paragraphs, while maintaining clarity. See spot run really gets old, as does backing-up to tease apart things like muddled references and run-ons.

    Reply
  115. HUMAN -  May 30, 2012 - 1:55 pm

    and lol when i submitted that comment it said i did at 1:53…. and right now its 4:55!!!! hahahahahah theyr clock sucks

    Reply
  116. HUMAN -  May 30, 2012 - 1:53 pm

    well…. we all know how to use the comma as well as we really need to. and we are always corrected,so i say this is interesting in all…. but not something i really NEED to know. but i know that wasnt the intention. just a fun fact xD

    Reply
  117. zazoo -  May 30, 2012 - 1:47 pm

    I’m with you MoonEagle! I HATE commas!!!!!

    Reply
  118. THe Person -  May 30, 2012 - 1:29 pm

    Supposed to be studying for Pre-Alegbra Final AND History Final
    Expectation-Studying intensly
    Reality-Reading. About Commas.

    Reply
  119. Newsom -  May 30, 2012 - 1:27 pm

    cool, but the entire half of your story was grammatically incorrect when you chose to place the comma outside of the quotation marks.

    Reply
  120. northern scribe -  May 30, 2012 - 1:17 pm

    This website provides no end of amusement when, in their rush to judgment of others’ missteps, posters invariably submit responses laden with their own egregious errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar and syntax. Can we all try to be a little more careful with our words, please?

    By the way, as a practising Canadian journalist, I note that Canadian Press style dictates we remove the serial/Oxford comma, except in cases when it prevents ambiguity. We also place all punctuation, in all contexts, within quotation marks.

    For long lists, I prefer the semi-colon, a lovely–but equally misunderstood and misused–punctuation mark.

    Reply
  121. hi there -  May 30, 2012 - 1:17 pm

    The comma is a necessary part of speech. If it were not needed, it is likely that it would have never been invented in the first place. People who find the comma stupid are more likely suffering from frustration with their inability to use it properly. A good example of such incorrect uses can easily be spotted in the average person’s attempt at communication through text. For instance, the comment above lacks two needed commas. However, the comment above that one, while boasting its accurate use of commas, has over-used them and created a sloppy run-on sentence. When used correctly, commas allow for a clearer understanding of the writer’s meaning. Without the comma, there would have been some alternate form of expressing its existence. Thus, whether one likes it or not, there will always be some needed effort in order to comprehend and communicate a language through writing. At least we can be grateful that one symbol compensates for a number of different meanings.

    Reply
  122. william Marshal -  May 30, 2012 - 1:14 pm

    The comma is of vital importance. It provides the reader with the correct eb and flow of the thoughts and informs us how to read and understand the relationship between language and logic even if you don’t recognize it. The comma, like all punctuations, provide meaning to written text. For example, I’m reminded of a Simpsons episode where Lionel Hutz has an add in teh paper and later corrects it. Marge shows him the add that reads “free consultation no money down” he corrects it, noting a printing error, to read “free consultation? no, money down!” the context and meaning is completely changed based on the punctuation. Remember that next time you say that punctutation is stupid…

    Reply
  123. MoonEagle -  May 30, 2012 - 1:01 pm

    The comma is very very very stupid

    Reply
  124. L -  May 30, 2012 - 12:55 pm

    I, a mere middle-school student, am one of the few people I know (inclusive of parents, teachers, and other adults) who uses the comma correctly, and I use the em dash quite often as well.

    Reply
  125. Simbi -  May 30, 2012 - 12:49 pm

    Hey,I just used it! ^
    * I used it again!!!

    Reply
  126. Simbi -  May 30, 2012 - 12:48 pm

    I Love COMMAS,They separate sentences so they wont be like this whole ” pack of fish ” . So if they dont have commas then every minutes they would have to be cemmy collins and periods every time you finsih a thought! THANK YOU GREEK!! :D

    Reply
  127. Joseph -  May 30, 2012 - 12:46 pm

    Old bible texts did not use commas.
    Take this example:
    “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise”

    As there was no comma in the original texts, the actual comma was placed before “today” according to meaning.
    Let’s place it that way:
    “I tell you the truth today, you will be with me in paradise”

    And just notice the difference in meaning.
    I hope I was not boring.

    Reply
  128. Agkcrbs -  May 30, 2012 - 12:32 pm

    Grammatical commas are important for conveying written meaning, but the original value of the comma as a spoken break or pause must be remembered. An accurate transcription of speech (or accurate dialogue in any text media) may include spoken commas or ellipses throughout the sentence, based on usage, to be distinguished from grammatic function. The spoken comma frequently even bleeds into texts with no representation of speech at all. An example: after sentence-initial conjunctions. All such pauses do have a semantic or expressive value, and, in my view, should be tolerated except only when they conflict with grammar.

    By the way, it would be great to see historical samples of the subjects of these historical articles.

    Reply
  129. Sarah Rose -  May 30, 2012 - 12:17 pm

    I absolutely love the comma. It makes sentences more enticing and speech a lot better. I use commas all the time, even when texting. I LOVE the comma!

    Reply
  130. Kim -  May 30, 2012 - 12:02 pm

    I’m gonna be “that guy” and point out that the author incorrectly placed a period in a sentence with quotes, which is also often incorrectly used punctuation. The period and comma should always be placed inside of the quotation marks. Here, the author places the period outside:

    That comma—before “and”—is called the “serial comma” or the “series comma”.

    He or she probably thinks that’s correct because it’s not a full sentence, it’s a common mistake.

    Reply
  131. Jeanette Thompson -  May 30, 2012 - 11:54 am

    Thanks for the tip…did you know that whoever typed this article used the period and quote mark incorrectly? Periods and commas fall inside quote marks. No exceptions.

    Reply
  132. Spacebot -  May 30, 2012 - 11:53 am

    SEE! I told my parents/teachers/friends that using a comma before the ‘and’ in a list was the correct thing to do (for both of those reasons) since i was a little kid, and they told me I was wrong!

    The comma is useful; just like the colon I just used, it denotes an important syntactical structure in communication which (as shown above) not only allows the stylistic and logical expression of additional information, but can actually *change the meaning* of what you write by introducing a concept of ‘scope’ into your writing, like in the “…jam and coffee.” vs “…jam, and coffee.” example.

    TL;DR Commas rock. Deal with it.

    Reply
  133. George -  May 30, 2012 - 11:41 am

    All punctuation marks are important I love the comma, possibly use it more than I should, which is better than omitting them altogether. I always remember the teacher 65 years ago giving us this example. The teacher said, ” That that that that that boy wrote was wrong.”

    Reply
  134. Kurt Hennig -  May 30, 2012 - 11:07 am

    I can’t tell you how many nights I have tossed and turned on sweaty sheets over this ruddy punctuation mark. Also, the death pain and destruction it has wrought upon mankind and the significance it has for myself and my family and loved ones and our future. What are we to do? What are any of us to do?

    Reply
  135. Betsy -  May 30, 2012 - 11:02 am

    Comma lovers UNITE!!!!!…

    or not.

    Reply
  136. rich haber -  May 30, 2012 - 11:00 am

    the comma should never be used before a conjunction — as you have, all throughout the article! lol

    Reply
  137. keep it real -  May 30, 2012 - 10:51 am

    man will always come up with something,so don’t turn away. In life if you don’t understand something,don’t dislike it.

    Reply
  138. Druid Warrior -  May 30, 2012 - 10:50 am

    Wow. This is intersting. O_O

    Reply
  139. Key -  May 30, 2012 - 10:36 am

    “Do you use the comma regularly? What do you think of the helpful, little mark?”

    I thought this article was about commas, not the helpful. And who is this “little mark” you refer to?

    The rule I refer to is this:
    Use a comma to separate two adjectives when the word and can be inserted between them.

    Examples:
    He is a strong, healthy man.
    We stayed at an expensive summer resort. You would not say expensive and summer resort, so no comma.

    Reply
  140. Watos -  May 30, 2012 - 9:32 am

    A king sends a note to a court about the execution of a convicted person. It says:
    Pardon not execution. The life of the condemned will depend of the position of the comma, as per these two examples: “Pardon, not execution” or “Pardon not, execution”.

    Reply
  141. cordwainer -  May 30, 2012 - 9:20 am

    Comma: The reason pianos can never be genuinely in tune.

    Reply
  142. kev -  May 30, 2012 - 9:05 am

    The comma is needed in language; that’s it, it’s that basic. Theres no room to argue about if it’s silly, or it’s hard to use, or its confusing, or your just saying it’s dumb.
    Here is a challenge for all those who hate and/or dislike the comma; write what i just wrote withought using a comma…

    Reply
  143. stickler -  May 30, 2012 - 8:55 am

    Haha, there’s a missing comma in the first sentence after the “but”.

    Reply
  144. Ed -  May 30, 2012 - 8:47 am

    FAR too often, people omit necessary commas, which usually alters the meaning of what they wish to be saying. (I am fond of commas, and I probably use the more often than most folks — but not needlessly nor unnecessarily.)

    Reply
  145. Samantha -  May 30, 2012 - 8:38 am

    @toulo. It seems to me, that you did not make any sence (sense) of anything that you were supposed to lern (learn) in school. Joker.

    Reply
  146. haddassah -  May 30, 2012 - 8:15 am

    THE COMMA, THE COMMA, THE COMMA

    Reply
  147. TETO -  May 30, 2012 - 7:50 am

    Where the comma is placed changes the sentence meaning.
    i.e. Bible — Which thought would you subscribe to?
    Verily I say unto thee, today thow shall be with me in paradise. OR
    Verily I say unto thee today, thow shall be we me in paradise.

    Reply
  148. Killa-King1 -  May 30, 2012 - 7:22 am

    iT WILL ALSO ACHIEVE BETTER FOR YOU’RE SKILLS!

    Reply
  149. Killa-King1 -  May 30, 2012 - 7:21 am

    It is better to determine good propriatly comperhand,Good stratigies perform excelent written! it is good to write a camma between the senteces it will make a whole big, Difference if you realize how a comma is better then writting it is becuase it will make you’re brain smarter and usuable to make strong words.

    Reply
  150. JMD -  May 30, 2012 - 6:59 am

    If you ever have the chance to read Lynn Truss’, “Eats Shoots and Leaves”, it explains the purpose of punctuation. Ms Truss makes it entertaining and practical. I learned grammar and punctuation in school, and have found that they really make a difference. Love you, comma!

    Reply
  151. Marc -  May 30, 2012 - 6:29 am

    Hey, me.

    If you want to make poetry out of it, say “The comma first was used by Ancient Greeks.” Then you can write the rest of the sonnet or villanelle yourself!

    Reply
  152. Sylvia -  May 30, 2012 - 6:22 am

    Cyberquill: The comma certainly does belong in “…helpful, little mark” because both words modify MARK. These are called coordinating modifiers. It’s the same as saying “Sue fixed herself a nutritious, delicious meal.” Both words modify MEAL. Now, if you had said “He wolfed down his typical American meal,” there is no comma between the two modifiers because AMERICAN modifies meal but TYPICAL does not; it modifies AMERICAN MEAL. A comma in the second sentence would wrongly imply that TYPICAL and AMERICAN both modify the same word. Check a good English handbook for more info on this.

    Reply
  153. Andrew sosa -  May 30, 2012 - 6:00 am

    Well, in English I don’t see really necessary the comma but in Spanish is so necessary and as native speaker Spanish is common for me do it in English ( use the comma ).

    Reply
  154. Caro -  May 30, 2012 - 5:10 am

    An English professor wrote the words, “Woman without her man is nothing” on the blackboard and directed his students to punctuate it correctly.

    The men wrote: “Woman, without her man, is nothing.”

    The women wrote: “Woman: Without her, man is nothing.”

    So you see, commas definitely make a difference.

    Reply
  155. Caro -  May 30, 2012 - 5:06 am

    @toulo It would definitely be more important for you to learn how to spell before you learn how to use commas! :-)

    Reply
  156. Helper -  May 30, 2012 - 5:04 am

    @Toulo

    Stay in school, buddy.

    Reply
  157. COMMA | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  May 30, 2012 - 5:02 am

    [...] ‘Comma, comma, — Karma Chameleon, — Punctuate without indigestion. — Unless the Point is Moot. — Otherwise, don’t shoot — or Do do. –>>L.T.Rhyme [...]

    Reply
  158. Meggie -  May 30, 2012 - 4:16 am

    The comma has made, and still continues to make more sentences make sense. Just take these for example:

    “Men without women are nothing.”

    It could be: Men, without women, are nothing.
    But could also be: Men without women, are nothing.

    So thank you, inventor of comma. :)

    Reply
  159. hasan -  May 30, 2012 - 3:04 am

    i should be studying for my economic and english sac tomorrow, but instead i am reading some stupid article or whatever its called that has no benefit to me what so ever.

    Reply
  160. M.K. Lincoln -  May 30, 2012 - 2:15 am

    By the way, I do know that some of the people who commented actually meant to write certain words or ostensible sentences incorrectly, but it is quite clear that others had no idea what they were doing when they committed their errors.

    Reply
  161. M.K. Lincoln -  May 30, 2012 - 2:12 am

    Apparently, many of the above persons who commented do not like many punctuation marks at all, for they seem to omit them gratuitously. Moreover, some of these people appear not to like proper grammar, syntax, or even spelling. Perhaps it is simply that they do not know write from wrong. Indeed, I did mean to write “write.”

    Reply
  162. Elisabeth -  May 30, 2012 - 1:58 am

    Is there a connection between “virgo” and “virgule”? Does “virgule” mean “little virgin” or something like that?

    Reply
  163. Daniel -  May 30, 2012 - 1:46 am

    Commas rule!
    Use comma sandwiches all the time in my writing :D.

    Reply
  164. NTBoss -  May 30, 2012 - 1:09 am

    I never stopped to wonder who in the world ever came up with punctuation marks. Now I am keeping his name in file as part of the trivia I can throw at trainees while editing their work.

    Reply
  165. Bubbles -  May 30, 2012 - 12:47 am

    Whatever! …..

    Reply
  166. falguni -  May 30, 2012 - 12:24 am

    I think ” COMMAS” makes us understand sentences more easily….. so i just love u commas……….

    Reply
  167. iqbal azeez -  May 30, 2012 - 12:04 am

    Great invention of Manutius. It reflects depth and flow of his creativity on language.

    Reply
  168. Toohi -  May 29, 2012 - 11:51 pm

    toulo on May 29, 2012 at 3:13 pm
    “i hate the comma thats one more thing that doesent make sence that we have to lern in school”

    What’s that noise? Oh, it’s the future sobbing in the corner.

    Reply
  169. Suji -  May 29, 2012 - 11:26 pm

    Thank you Dictionary.com.

    I like to use comma, because otherwise, sentences do not make sense…

    When I write a poem, I use lot of commas.

    In addition, I like to hear about semi-colon(;)…

    Reply
  170. jerry -  May 29, 2012 - 10:52 pm

    how pathetic are comma haters

    Reply
  171. Daniel -  May 29, 2012 - 10:17 pm

    I, think, some, of, us, use, the, comma, too, much.

    Reply
  172. usha -  May 29, 2012 - 10:17 pm

    thanks,Manutius

    Reply
  173. Chithra Raghavan -  May 29, 2012 - 10:04 pm

    Comma in today’s context is used for convenience than correctness. Even teachers who teach punctuation differ in its usage which means nothing but that if the message is conveyed in spite of wrong or no punctuation, the purpose remains served.

    Reply
  174. Stella -  May 29, 2012 - 9:46 pm

    LOVE IT BRO I USE IT A LOT WELL I DIDN’T USE IT AT ALL IN THIS SENTENCE LOOKS CONFUSING HUH ISN’T IT? That’s why commas are important, cause without it you’ll suffer from brain overload.

    Reply
  175. destiny joy -  May 29, 2012 - 9:08 pm

    You no I don’t see why he’s so famous if anything the guy who invented the exlamation point should be famous!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  176. Chocolate -  May 29, 2012 - 8:36 pm

    I love commas!
    I use them all the time….ahem, maybe a little too much. ;)

    hehe @Hattie, I should be writing an essay….

    Reply
  177. Cyraus -  May 29, 2012 - 8:14 pm

    *they don’t change…
    I wish we could edit our comments on here.-_-

    Reply
  178. Cyraus -  May 29, 2012 - 8:12 pm

    I think the comma is extremely useful and necessary for speech. Those of you who don’t agree should take a look at sentences without it.
    Consider this comma-less sentence: “For breakfast Mary had an apple toast and jam and coffee.” Now, you could always use “and” to replace that. Let’s see how that looks: “Mark went to the store to buy eggs and bread and milk and blueberries.” Doesn’t it seem quite redundant? Plus, time could be saved by just replacing it with a comma without having to repeat “and” over and over again.
    The problem with the comma is that the times to use it are ambiguous. I’ve seen it been used in a specific situation, like before “and” or “but”, and other times I’ve not seen it in the same specific structure.
    For example, Cyberquill mentioned above that that the comma shouldn’t be used between “helpful” and “little.” However, in my writing, it would have been used. These variations in each person’s writing can frustrating, but I think that as long as they doesn’t change the meaning of the sentence, they are tolerable.

    Reply
  179. Abi -  May 29, 2012 - 8:03 pm

    I love the comma. When I edit people’s work, I get all prickly with them because they always forget the comma!!! I mean- how can so many people not remember to ever put a a comma in the right places?!

    Reply
  180. Leah Petersen -  May 29, 2012 - 7:36 pm

    @cyberquill, I can see the point of the comma between “helpful” and “little,” (though I wouldn’t use it,) but I don’t get the comma after “store” in this one:

    “Mark went to the store, and he bought eggs, bread, milk, and blueberries.”

    Reply
  181. Sumshee -  May 29, 2012 - 7:32 pm

    To “truelexi”:
    Why would you say that commas are stupid?…especially if they “make sentences easier to understand”?

    Reply
  182. MISTY -  May 29, 2012 - 7:29 pm

    I LOVE CHICKEN,PIZZA,PUPPYS AND COMMA ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Reply
  183. Ronald Duk -  May 29, 2012 - 7:06 pm

    Nice you have the Hotwords “Sprachgefühl” and “Comma” on your webside at the same day, because it takes the first to use the second right.

    Reply
  184. Ray -  May 29, 2012 - 7:00 pm

    There’s also a comma in music but that is not a pause but a slight difference in tuning from above and below in the 12-note scale (except in well-tempered scales, that is forced to average-out as every note takes its portion of slack).

    Reply
  185. Gwenneth -  May 29, 2012 - 5:56 pm

    “Let’s eat, Grandpa!”
    “Let’s eat Grandpa!”
    Case and point, I think. Commas save lives.

    Reply
  186. Emma -  May 29, 2012 - 5:49 pm

    Hai!!!! I love the comma it’s wonderful !! Hahaha I agree Mel people people need to learn how to use it.I don’t ever use it when im texting or typing in like an E-mail,but in my class i Got an award for always using commas correctly!!! I FEEL SPECIAL :D :D :D :D :D

    Reply
  187. Jose -  May 29, 2012 - 5:47 pm

    The comma is a very useful and neeeded writing conjuction, and without it, our sentences would not be so easily understood phoenetically and verbally.

    Reply
  188. Mel -  May 29, 2012 - 5:43 pm

    I HATE the comma with a passion!!!!! I don’t see the need for it and I think it’s a waste of time to learn how to use it.No knows how to use it so just get rid of it! :D I’m kidding,people shouldn’t be stupid and should learn how to use it.But I hate it. JS. LOVE YOU Period!!!!!! <3 :)

    Reply
  189. Johann -  May 29, 2012 - 5:40 pm

    It’s time to eat, grandma!

    Commas are good, mkay?

    Reply
  190. nate -  May 29, 2012 - 5:32 pm

    I love the comma; it is so necessary to a well-organized sentence!

    Reply
  191. Lauren @ Pure Text -  May 29, 2012 - 4:57 pm

    Haha @Hattie.

    And thanks, Manutius. I, too, love the comma (and the em dash actually).

    Reply
  192. Bob K -  May 29, 2012 - 4:47 pm

    I love commas! Too bad people don’t know how to properly use them.

    Reply
  193. Rosencrantz -  May 29, 2012 - 4:42 pm

    The comma is one of the greates inventions in writing, because without it sentences would go fluently and very uncomfortable to the view, besides it would give a different sense to the meaning of the statement.

    @Creeper, if it is boring, how did you managed to read all that and took the nuisance to coment? haha

    Reply
  194. Cyberquill -  May 29, 2012 - 4:39 pm

    “What do you think of the helpful, little mark?”

    What I think of the helpful little mark is that it certainly doesn’t belong between “helpful” and “little.”

    Reply
  195. QQ:1079573264 -  May 29, 2012 - 4:33 pm

    dumb guys

    Reply
  196. Boywonderslover -  May 29, 2012 - 4:25 pm

    I always use the comma too much or too little in my essays…

    Oh, well, I still love it so. =D

    Reply
  197. Madcom -  May 29, 2012 - 4:16 pm

    Sometimes, although not always, i must say, I think, we make too much of the importance of the comma. Does it ever change the meaning to always have a comma after AND. Surely that would solve this problem.

    Reply
  198. Annie J -  May 29, 2012 - 3:54 pm

    I believe that you meant to say “aesthetics.”

    Reply
  199. Hattie -  May 29, 2012 - 3:48 pm

    I should be studying for my Algebra Final tomorrow…instead I am reading about the comma…… I REGRET NOTHING!!!!!!!!! Love you comma :)

    Reply
  200. Me -  May 29, 2012 - 3:31 pm

    This discussion of the comma brings to mind poetry. The conventions are slightly different than prose.

    In the opening sentence, I would say “The comma’s ancestors were first used by the Ancient Greeks…”

    Also, writing that the comma “descended directly from Italian printer Aldus Manutius.” implies that the comma is his offspring, or that Manutius is a punctuation mark. It would be better to say that “the modern comma was first used by the Italian printer Aldus Manutius.”

    Reply
  201. toulo -  May 29, 2012 - 3:13 pm

    i hate the comma thats one more thing that doesent make sence that we have to lern in school

    Reply
  202. young -  May 29, 2012 - 2:57 pm

    @truelexi congrats……not. go die

    Reply
  203. Creeper -  May 29, 2012 - 2:24 pm

    hate it its boring:l

    Reply
  204. Ptron -  May 29, 2012 - 1:53 pm

    Apparently I omit the comma necessary for parenthetical phrases. :)

    I meant: “Only in very short, straightforward lists, or for the sake of esthetics in marketing copywriting, do I omit it.”

    Reply
  205. Ptron -  May 29, 2012 - 1:50 pm

    Personally, I prefer the Oxford (or serial) comma more often than not. Only in very short, straightforward lists, or for the sake of esthetics in marketing copywriting do I omit it.

    Reply
  206. Truelexi -  May 29, 2012 - 1:48 pm

    Yay! First comment!!!

    I honestley think the comma is stupid. But it actually makes words or sentences easier to understand. :D
    (spell fail)

    ~Meep

    Reply

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