Tags:
  1. jakeybum

    jakeybum Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    17

    Comma technically needed?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by jakeybum, Jan 1, 2018.

    Is a comma needed after Ave. in both examples below? If so, why?

    It is located on 829 Western Ave., by Jules.
    It is located on 829 Western Ave., next to Jules.

    (Jules is a hardware store.)

    Thank you.
     
  2. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    14,287
    Likes Received:
    11,480
    I think it is.

    I don't know how to express why.

    Do you need to abbreviate? It would feel more graceful as the following--though you still need the comma.

    It is located on 829 Western Avenue, by Jules.
    It is located on 829 Western Avenue, next to Jules.
     
    John Calligan likes this.
  3. thirdwind

    thirdwind Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,562
    Likes Received:
    3,048
    Location:
    Boston
    I would say no comma. Here is my logic for that. The phrases "on 829 Western Ave." and "by Jules" describe the phrase "It is located" uniquely. They don't provide redundant information because each phrase provides unique information on the location of "It" (one is an exact address, and the other is an approximate address based on another store). Therefore, they're restrictive phrases and, thus, require no comma between them.

    My guess is that older style guides would probably argue for using a comma because "by Jules" is, depending on interpretation, providing redundant information by distinguishing "by Jules" from, say, some other store. So that phrase doesn't describe the main phrase any differently from, for example, "by Store X" or "two doors down from Store Y."

    If this is fiction, you have some stylistic freedom, so go with what feels appropriate for the context.
     
    jakeybum likes this.
  4. jakeybum

    jakeybum Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    17
    Thank you.
     
  5. Oxymaroon

    Oxymaroon Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2017
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    107
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    If Western Ave. isn't written or produced by Jules, the comma is necessary. The second sentence, where the comma is also needed, is better. The comma is needed because the phrase "on Western Ave." or "at 829 Western Ave." is one means of locating a house, sufficient in itself, while "by Jules" is a different means of stating location, not part of the address; it's added a helpful extra identification.
    I would actually prefer ",next door to Jules." since I didn't know what or who Jules is. But I suppose I would know that if I'd read the previous pages.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
    jakeybum likes this.
  6. jakeybum

    jakeybum Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    17
    Thank you.
     
  7. jakeybum

    jakeybum Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    17
    Do authors, musical artists, etc. get commas after them — as shown below — when preceded by their work?

    The Gregg Reference Manual, by William
    A. Sabin, is a great grammar and style reference.

    Who Are You?, by the Who, topped the UK chart in 1979.

    Thank you.
     
  8. Oxymaroon

    Oxymaroon Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2017
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    107
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I don't know. On title pages, we generally use a line break, as :
    Snowmagaddon
    by
    Bandwagon Rider

    When talking about creative work, I've seen both with comma and without. When in doubt, I put one in rather than leave one out. That seems to be the American consensus, as well.
     
    jakeybum likes this.
  9. jakeybum

    jakeybum Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    17
    Thank you.
     
  10. mashers

    mashers Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2016
    Messages:
    2,369
    Likes Received:
    3,069
    It's because "by Jules" is a coordinate clause. Something should therefore separate it from the main clause ("It is located on 829 Western Ave."). You could possibly do it with just a conjunction:

    It is located on 829 Western Ave. and by Jules

    rendering the comma unneeded, though you could still include it to indicate a pause to emphasise the coordination with the preceding clause:

    It is located on 829 Western Ave., and by Jules

    However, the original sentence with just the comma is sufficient, as the comma indicates the break between the clauses.

    If we omit the comma thus:

    It is located on 829 Western Ave. by Jules

    we have a potential problem. If the listener is not familiar with the area, perhaps they interpret it as

    It is located on 829 [Western Ave. by Jules]

    So are there two or more parts of Western Ave., and 839 is on the part by Jules? Or is "Western Ave. By Jules" the name of the road?

    Although the possibility for misunderstanding is fairly low in this situation as context would probably answer these questions, it does nonetheless demonstrate why the comma is necessary.
     

Share This Page