Comma, Errors

Comma Chameleon If you can make it through reading all of the comma errors in How Stuff Works’ article “10 Completely Wrong Ways to Use Commas,” we’ll give you a gold star.  TSHS has one small quibble with this grammar article. In theory, number 6 is correctly cited as an error: 

Wrong: Many men want to be the spy, James Bond.
Why: There’s a comma between a noun and its restrictive form of identification.
Right: Many men want to be the spy James Bond.

However, if in dialogue, the comma could be acceptable as it suggests a distinct pause or shift. For example:

Dr. Julius No laughed. “Many men want to be the spy, James Bond.”

“Of course,” Bond said and winked at Dr. No’s attractive and intelligent assistant Miss Taro.

In our case, the comma would be read completely differently–in that “James Bond” would be an address, as opposed to a “restrictive form of identification.” I suppose, then, it comes down to how one reads a sentence.  I’m sure 007 would agree.  Because we’re High Society, Tate Street High Society.

Bond looking suave from Dr. No in 1962

About the Author: Abigail Browning

aba-city-lights-poet-picAbigail Browning, Founder and Managing Editor, a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, received her MFA in Poetry at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Abigail has poems either published or forthcoming in the Yemassee Journal OnlineThe Greensboro Review, Linebreakand RHINO Poetry. In addition, she was honored to receive the Amon Liner Poetry Award, the Noel Callow/Academy of American Poets’ Prize, and was a finalist for the Linda Flowers NC Arts Prize. She also has a passion for jazz music and dance, and teaches swing-era dances in her free time: Currently, she is studying Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media as a PhD at NC State in Raleigh, NC.

4 Comments on Comma, Errors

  1. Your use of Sean Connery was very effective here.

  2. True, though such a dandy topic… 🙂

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