Letter to the Editor - May 18, 2017

Comma commentary

I am not yet a Daniel Island resident, but I hope to move there in the near future. My son lives in the Wando area and I recently enjoyed a visit with him through Mother’s Day. While in the area, I often read The Daniel Island News. To anyone who got a score of 9 (instead of 8) on the “Counting Commas” quiz in the “Grammar Matters” feature of “Let’s Have Some Fun” (page 37 in the May 11-17 issue), you are also correct!

In the answer key, two commas were added to the third sentence: “For her report, Marcie interviewed a scientist, a chemist and a pharmacist.” This punctuation is fine, but there is another correct solution utilizing three commas: “For her report, Marcie interviewed a scientist, a chemist, and a pharmacist.”

Inclusion of a comma before the “and” in a series of three or more items (sometimes called the “serial comma” or “Oxford comma”) is an acceptable style that can make a sentence clearer, especially those containing complex lists. Many respected editorial style guides, including that of the American Medical Association (AMA), call for consistent use of the serial comma.

Liz Troy

Medical editor

Lansdale, PA

Daniel Island Publishing

225 Seven Farms Drive
Unit 108
Daniel Island, SC 29492 

Office Number: 843-856-1999
Fax Number: 843-856-8555


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