Comma after introductory phrases
Hello. Shouldn't there be a comma in this sentence:
For more information on our program and certification course please visit our website.
I pointed out to a manager of a TESL/TESOL/TEFL program that a comma belongs after the word course. This is from her confirmation letter of my certification that I need to send to potential employers. Their course uses Focus On Grammar materials. Here is her reply:
The template for this letter has been sent out hundreds of times to government organizations and agencies around the world. It was created by a school principle with over 10 years of experience teaching English and I have used it countless times over the past few years. I have never received feedback from any government, school or organization that it is grammatically incorrect.
Certainly a comma can be used in the sentence that you highlight but this comes down to personal preference and is not universally applied by all native speakers of English.
If you still wish to have a second copy of the letter created and sent to you as a pdf file and also by post, please let me know and I will process this before the end of day tomorrow.
I thought a simple, "Thank you for bringing this to our attention," would have sufficed.
Please reply as soon as possible. I want to send her a reply with your expertise attribution. I also wish I could get this attribution from one of the authors of Focus On Grammar. If you know them, please send me an email to email@example.com. Thank you.
There is no question, Amanda, that the comma is required. It is not a style choice or a personal preference. The only reason this hard and fast rule might not be "universally applied by all native speakers" is because not all native speakers have a perfect grasp on grammar rules. Even those that do can make mistakes. The most proficient and expert of writers must proofread their work or use editors. It is an uncommon occasion when a textbook is published without an error somewhere. Mistakes happen and can take a very long time to be noticed by someone who can correct them. I've worked in the printing industry for decades, even professional proofreaders make mistakes.
The fact that you are the first person to bring it to this manager's attention isn't surprising at all. Most people barely glance at the details of a letter of certification. Of those who notice it, most people don't bother to take the time to point it out to anyone. If only one in hundreds or thousands notice it and decide to contact this manager, would the answer change if that random person had been the fifth recipient?
|link comment||answered Jul 27 '12 at 07:08 Patty T Grammarly Fellow|
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