comma before the conjunction - is this rule changing
My editor nixes almost every comma I use, including before a conjunction connecting two independent clauses. I understand a preference for omitting the serial comma, but it seems wrong to me to omit the comma between independent clauses. Am I just being old school?
Awareness of the program has increased since 2010, but few have used it.
Sorry I came late to this discussion -- the softball player in my life had another tournament this weekend (106 in the shade!).
I have copies both Chicago and MLA at my desk. Both are very clear about using commas to separate two independent clauses joined by a conjunction -- it is required. On occasion, I check other style guides when I using the Berkeley campus libraries. I can't remember any of the other major guides being lenient on this basic issue.
The journalism guides, where comma use is becoming an option, provide a slightly different take. The AP Stylebook (which I also have at my desk) says: use a comma before the conjunction most cases. As a rule-of-thumb use a comma if the subject of each clause is expressly stated. The comma may be dropped if two clauses with expressly stated subjects are short. In general, however, favor use of a comma unless a particular literary effect is desired or if it would distort the sense of a sentence.
We recognize that English is a living language, and different editors will have different viewpoints. My own editor is much less "old-school" than say Tolley when it comes to starting sentences with the conjunctions "and" and "but". However, it is never considered confrontational for a writer to ask her editor what style guide the editor is following. When the editor and writer are on the same page, the job of both becomes easier.
|link||answered Jun 17 '12 at 04:18 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow|
Rather than wondering if you are old school, I am wondering where your editor went to school! Maybe we are all old school.
I can't imagine that the style guides have changed the rule to place a comma between independent clauses connected with a conjunction. Hopefully Jeff (who seems to have all of the style guides) will be along with an answer.
Personally, I would challenge the editor to show me the style guide that changes this rule.
|link||answered Jun 16 '12 at 17:54 Patty T Grammarly Fellow|
The editor encourages run-on sentences? Interesting.
The Chicago Manual of Style supports what we were taught a long time ago. Use a comma with a conjunction separating independent clause. That issue alone would make me reconsider my choice in editors. Chicago also strongly recommends the serial comma, by the way.
|link||answered Jun 16 '12 at 20:42 Jody M. Expert|
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