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Editor's Notes #52, Comma Use #12 and Free Listing for Your Book
May 04, 2008

We have talked long enough.... It is time now to write the next chapter....
-- Lyndon B Johnson

In this issue:

1. Commma Use #12
2. Free Chapter
3. Free Listing For Your Self-Published Book
4. What Next?

1. Comma Use #12
This is the last in our series of uses of the comma. To see the uses we discussed previously, click on the link below to the newsletter archive.

Many comma uses are simply matters of convention. I mention these last because you probably know them already. They don't need explanation, just listing.

Use a comma to separate the year in a date.

Example: June 9, 2007.

Use a comma to separate parts of a postal or street address.

Example: MR. John Doe, 123 Any Street, Any Town, Any State or province, Any country.

(Note that where you place the postal code varies from country to country.)

(Note that these commas are no longer obligatory if the address is written on separate lines, like this. . .

MR. John Doe
123 Any Street
Any Town,
Any State or province, [The state or province usually follows on the same line as the town and is set off by a comma.]
Any country.)

Use a comma after the salutation in an informal letter.

Example: Dear Sally,

Use a comma after the complimentary close of a letter.

Example: Yours truly,

Separating numerals in a large number. Beginning on the right, separate every three numerals. (Some systems do not require a comma if there are only four numerals.)

Example: 12,345,678

Use a comma before introductory words or abbreviations like that is; i.e.; or e.g; and degrees and titles. (Note that because there is a series within the main series here, I've used semi-colons to separate the elements of the main series.)

Example: Water should come to a full boil; i.e., it should be roiling in the middle of the pot.

John Doe, Ph.D.

Jane Doe, Attorney

Use a comma to separate numbered divisions.

Example: Act 1, Scene 3


B, d.

Use a comma to show missing words or phrases that are understood form the context.

Example: The men prefer hot cakes; the women, eggs; the children, cereal.

This ends the series of newsletters on the uses of the comma. I hope it has been helpful to you.


2. Free Chapter
Boost your sales by posting one free chapter of your book online. You know the writing rule "Show, don't tell." What better way to use the rule? I have begun to post one chapter of Get Your Writing Fighting Fit on various sites for writers. That includes Now YOU can get (and share) one free chapter. Get your free chapter at


3. Free Listing For Your Self-Published Book
There's nothing to do and absolutely no catch. Just list your book.

Don't expect soaring sales, but topical links back to a Web site are a good thing in cyberspace. And if you write about writing or publishing, you might even get some sales from your posting.


4. What Next? With this issue, we've come to the end of the series on the uses of the comma. Writing the series and answering client questions has sparked a new ebook on punctuation. I'm assembling my resources and have my outline and the beginning of the first draft. This ebook will include information not easily available to all writers, which is why it's taking time to get all the resources in one place.

The new book will keep me busy in the book creation world. But I wonder what you'd like to see in future newsletters. Although I'm always open to your ideas, right now I could especially use your help in setting a direction for Editor's Notes in the near future. Just hit reply and let me know what you'd like to be reading.


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