Welcome to the first edition of Copyediting with Keli.
In this session, I resolve three common comma conundrums.
Here’s a quick recap of what I covered in the video:
1. Comma in a Series (CMOS 6.18)
The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) advocates the use of the comma in a series, known as the Oxford comma.
Insert a comma between all elements in the series as well as the one preceded by a conjunction, which is often and.
Example: I went to the grocery store because I needed chocolate, ice cream, and cookies.
2) Comma with coordinate adjectives (CMOS 6.33)
When a noun is preceded by two or more adjectives that could—without affecting the meaning—be joined by and, the adjectives are normally separated by a comma.
Example: The tall, dark, and handsome hero rescued the heroine.
3) Independent clauses joined by a conjunction (CMOS 6.28)
A clause is a complete sentence; a phrase is part of a sentence. C = Complete, P = Part)
When two clauses—or complete sentences—are joined using a conjunction (and, but, or, so, yet) a comma is normally used before the conjunction, creating a compound sentence.
Example: Maria was falling in love with Captain von Trapp, but he was engaged to someone else.
The exception is when the clauses are very short and closely connected. In this case the comma can be omitted.
Example: Captain von Trapp gazed into Maria’s eyes and her heart raced.
Now you know how to deal with commas in a series, commas used with coordinating adjectives, and commas as they relate to independent clauses joined by a conjunction.
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Thanks for watching my first video blog, or vlog. I hope you found the information helpful.