JS Tip 314: Commas V

Tips from Jefferson Smith Training and Consulting

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** From the Writing Workshops: Commas V

This is the last of a five-week series on commas. We appreciate your feedback and guidance. Thank you.

Use a comma before too or also only if you want to emphasize the word. We prefer the Steiner design, too. We prefer the Steiner design too.

Both are correct. The comma in the first example slows the reader and emphasizes—punches, draws attention to—the too.

The same guidance applies to too and also in the middle of a sentence, although with two commas:

We, too, agree with the ruling. We too agree with the ruling.

Use commas to separate titles and degrees from names. Return the application to Charles Tubman, Corporate Personnel Director. Charlotte Windsor-Bates, Ph.D., will deliver the Tuesday lecture.

Use a comma after the salutation in personal letters and email. Mom and Dad,

There’s a hierarchy in the punctuation you might use in a salutation.

Formal salutations call for a colon: Chief Justice John Roberts:

Informal salutations (most of what you write in business) call for a dash: Sally—

Personal salutations call for a comma: Mom and Dad,

Use a comma after the complimentary close. Sincerely,

But beware of the overly polite—and smarmy—complimentary close: Best regards, Very truly yours, I remain your most obedient servant,

Don’t laugh. It’s been done.

You might want to consider ending your letter or email the way you'd end a conversation: Thank you.

Nice. simple. Conversational.

What are your questions?

** Recent Tips

JS Tip 313: Commas IV
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JS Tip 312: Commas III
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JS Tip 310: The Harvard Comma

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