Periods after abbreviations

Barbara Need nee1 at MIDWAY.UCHICAGO.EDU
Wed Jun 30 13:59:57 UTC 2004

>: ...It's also an absolute rule of British
>: prescriptive grammar (though clearly 'prescriptive' may be a four-letter
>: word on this listserv - perhaps we should all add it to our lists of
>: words to be filtered out by spam filters, replacing 'fuck' in that list)
>: that, in lists, the penultimate item never has a comma after it if there
>: is also an 'and', whereas I note that in America all items in such lists
>: are followed by commas...
>Not true--i was explicitly taught (in the US), and have seen in usage
>manuals, that the commas in such circumstances are optional, and it doesn't
>matter which you use as long as you're consistent (though the Chicago Manual
>prefers inclusion of the comma, with the stated reason being to avoid the
>risk of ambiguity).
>David Bowie                               

Well, that's new. I taught composition in the early 80s (in
Wisconsin) and the rule for commas was 0 or 2 between subject and
verb. My understanding was that in England, a single comma was
acceptable. But when I get books published in england with only one
comma, I have to put the other in, or it doesn't make sense!


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