the final step in commas after role descriptors

James Harbeck jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA
Thu Nov 20 01:34:07 UTC 2008

"Be one of the few to hear bestselling author, Malcolm Gladwell, in
conversation with Professor, Roger Martin."

I did a survey a year or so ago on various correctness judgements,
and an item similar to this ("Program director, Margaret Wilson says
that eleven courses will be offered.") was judged wrong by 72 and
right by 22 (while another group judged a comma-less version right by
75 to 27). I haven't seen other notable examples of the comma
addition shifting this far, all the way to a single-word title,
certainly not in something for any kind of publication, but perhaps
this is the beginning... (or perhaps it's been happening elsewhere
for a long time and this is the first time I've noted it).

James Harbeck.

The American Dialect Society -

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