Social Question

gailcalled's avatar

When you address someone in the middle of a sentence, why do you leave out the commas?

Asked by gailcalled (53432 points ) December 17th, 2009

If I am commenting, “What a clear sentence, Marina,” I always use commas to demarcate the addressee. Why do so many folks here skip them?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

36 Answers

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

There is no need for many rules of grammar online.

absalom's avatar

What they have to say is obviously very urgent. So urgent they can’t be asked to worry about hypercritically prescriptive grammarians asking questions about them on Fluther.

But I jest.

Really, though, it’s not obfuscatory, so it’s an easier thing to leave out. That’s my guess.

gailcalled's avatar

Is clarity of writing online so different from clarity of writing Kelly Obrien elsewhere?

lizzmitch's avatar

people are just to lazy to write correctly

Vunessuh's avatar

I suppose on this website people come to relax, pass the time, have fun, instead of worrying about stupid grammatical errors, gailcalled.

absalom's avatar

@gailcalled

No, they are both (as) clear as they are manifestations of laziness.

gailcalled's avatar

isntiteasiertonotworryaboutstupidwritingrulesofanykindherethatwouldbefun

Buttonstc's avatar

If I’m on my computer, I normally use proper punctuation.

However, I’m more often Fluthering on my iPhone which makes punctuation a huge pain in the—-

It’s just plain annoying to have to switch to a totally different screen and then switch back again all for a measly couple of commas. Periods at the ends of sentences are much easier since you can just tap the space bar twice quickly.

So I do get a little less ambitious comma-wise since lack of them doesn’t obscure the meaning of what I’m saying most of the time.

Compared to some of the other downright atrocious examples of crappy spelling and endless run-on sentences I see on constant display, it’s a rather minor offense by comparison. Not necessarily a good excuse but a reality nonetheless. The iPhone really sucks for typing.

shrubbery's avatar

@gailcalled, that is making it extremely hard to read and is no fun at all. Dropping a comma here or there can still enable the sentence to flow and the same sentiment to be brought across. That being said, I think I do use the comma before and after names just out of habit. But some people don’t. No biggie here.

Vunessuh's avatar

@gailcalled That’s a tad dramatic. Missing a comma is no biggie. Why you sweatin’ it?

tinyfaery's avatar

I have better things to worry about.

And I usually fluther at work and on my phone which leaves me no time or patience to edit.

Not enough commas. Too many commas. Sigh

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

@gailcalled Is clarity of writing online so different from clarity of writing Kelly Obrien elsewhere?

Why, yes it is, Gail. Thanks for your input.

gailcalled's avatar

Curiosity and heavy perspiration are two different condtions, Vunessuh.

@Buttonstc: Interesting info about the iPhone. That is helpful.

Vunessuh's avatar

Well then if it’s curiosity, I try to be as correct as possible in both spelling and grammar, but I don’t log onto Fluther to ‘work’.
Worrying about someone forgetting a comma is silly to me.

ratboy's avatar

R u, @gailcalled, serious?

trumi's avatar

Lol, stfu noob.

No but in all seriousness, I like to remain as grammatically correct on Fluther as I am in real life. I think it’s courteous, and good practice. I believe that having poor grammar online can effect your professional grammar, just as violent video games can effect your attitude towards traffic and prostitutes, and I choose to maintain whatever level of grammar I have normally on the internet. Also, I think someone who is grammatically correct can get away with more political incorrectness. Just look at AC!

That being said, it’s also nice to chat on Fluther without paying attention to the rules of the written word. The English language is basically a clusterfuck of transient laws and contrasting interpretations. But that’s the way we get by….

Vunessuh's avatar

Nice. Very original. Not the first time I’ve heard the noob comment before, trumi.

trumi's avatar

@Vunessuh that wasn’t directed at anyone in particular, it was mocking anyone who would use that colloquialism willfully.

Jeruba's avatar

@gailcalled, the comma for direct address has lamentably also disappeared from most e-mail, to the point that when somebody sends me a message beginning “Hi, Jeruba” instead of “Hi Jeruba” I feel like cheering. That comma is one of many correct uses that once were taught faithfully in schools and that I think most teachers are now too ignorant or unaware to teach—either that or they have administrators and parents breathing down their necks and trying to persuade them that commas are small stuff having no importance.

lillycoyote's avatar

I generally use a lot of commas so some times I run out of them and have to wait until I can get some more.

Jeruba's avatar

Come around to my place, @lillycoyote. I am a housemaid to other people’s messy prose, and I have to carry out plastic bags full of verbal and punctuational litter at the end of the day. There are plenty of excess commas. Help yourself.

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

If you really like commas, you should read Walden Pond by Thoreau.

absalom's avatar

@Kelly_Obrien

I heard Ernest Hemingway was also fond of commas.

trumi's avatar

Commas, transcendentalism, neckbeards… It’s all good.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Jeruba Thank you so very much for the offer. I may take you up on it. I just need to plan ahead. It’s not like you can run out to the 7–11 at 2:00 a.m and pick up a pack of commas.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I have to concur with @Buttonstc that using a phone to access the Internet and e-mail has had an adverse effect on punctuation.

Buttonstc's avatar

@Ratboy

Yes, she certainly R serious.

Jeruba's avatar

@lillycoyote, just give me a shout. I keep a large plastic bin full of emergency packets on a shelf in my closet. The only thing I keep in very short supply is exclamation points. But I’ve seen some other folks around here who I am sure could help you out with those.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Jeruba Sounds perfect to me. I rarely use exclamation points, though for some reason I seem to use more of them online that I do in real life. But still, I have yet to run out of them.

breedmitch's avatar

Well, now I know to hate Kelly Obrien. (who can’t even be bothered to use an apostrophe)~

PandoraBoxx's avatar

It’s not every grammar question that has its own theme song. teeheehee

Jeruba's avatar

That was fun, @PandoraBoxx. Even though the comma of direct address is not an Oxford comma.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@Jeruba, I know. I googled “Oxford comma” when I first heard the song. It was a stretch. Lurve to both you and @gailcalled for knowing that without having to look it up. You both complete my incomplete education one byte at a time… :-)

gailcalled's avatar

@PandoraBoxx: I guess suggesting “Byte me” would not be an original idea.

1) I like to write, Kelly.

2) I like to write Kelly.

Two different meanings, I think. Punctuation usually helps with clarity rather than obfuscation (my word-of-the-day, thanks to @absalom. (This is the fluther way of avoiding the commas for direct address.)

tinyfaery's avatar

Removed by me

Brian1946's avatar

@absalom

“I heard Ernest Hemingway was also fond of commas.”

It sounds like Jimmy Jones was too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9w_w8pxd2k ;-)

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