1. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    Punctuation Hometowns / Places of Employment

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by dillseed, May 18, 2014.

    Mike Smith, 40, of East Greenbush, was arrested.
    (Comma needed after 'Greenbush'?)

    Do the bolded items need to be offset by commas as exampled below?

    Mike Smith, of the Golub Corporation, resigned.

    Dan Davis, of the New York State Police, made the apprehension.

    Jack Jones, of Maple Avenue, passed away.

    John Farkenson, of Brooklyn, New York, made the sale.

    And, stylistically, which looks better to you with the age? Parens or commas?

    Mike Smith, 40, of East Greenbush, was arrested.

    Mike Smith (40) of East Greenbush, was arrested.

    Thanks.
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    It depends on if you want draw attention to the phrase between the commas. "Jack of High Street killed someone" reads differently than "Jack, of High Street, killed someone." In the latter case, you're placing emphasis on "of High Street." The commas also act as an aside, sort of like parentheses would. So it's really a personal preference depending on what effect you're trying to go for.

    In most cases, I would use a comma.
     
  3. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    Thanks again!
     
  4. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    But the commas do create an easier read, as in the 2nd example below:

    Jack of High Street killed someone.

    Jack, of High Street, killed someone.
     
  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    In my opinion (and from the point of view of creative writing), neither way is inherently better/easier to read.
     
  6. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    I would use commas, but it's always been a complete mystery to me as to why we need to know the ages of people in news stories, especially in photograph captions: "Lisa Smith, 32, and her daughter Jemmie, 6, enjoy the polar bear exhibit at the zoo."
     
  7. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    I posed these same questions to OWL at Purdue.

    They said, "Because in these cases the hometowns and places of employment are appositives--that is, asides not essential to the meaning of the sentence--I recommend setting them off with commas"

    Best,
    OWL Mail Tutor #0732
     

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