English buffs - need help with commas

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by slsh, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I had my monthly audit yesterday, new auditor, and ... well, by the time I finished reading the corrections, I was in tears. It wasn't horrible, 98.8%, but I strive for and expect 100%, so I was a big fat baby. One thing she nailed me on was comma usage. I've been studying that up again and think I've got it, but (here comes an independent phrase so the comma before "but" is appropriate, LOL) I'm having a hard time with dates.

    Testing on January 2, 1990, showed fluffy cats.

    That is correct.

    My question is, how is it when the date is in numeric format (01/02/1990)? Testing on 01/02/1990 (comma or not?) showed fluffy cats.

    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a blessing and a curse in my professional life, LOL.
  2. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I don't know, but what I do know is that the acceptable usage of commas has changed slightly in the recent past...would this be one of those changes?
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    in my humble opinion, if you are writing the date in a sentence, I believe it is correct that the date should be spelled out (January 1, 2010).

    If you are writing the date in a list, the date may be abbreviated (01/01/2010) and then a dash may be used to note the relevent data.

    01/01/2010 - Made New Year's Resolutions.


    On January 1, 2010, I made a list of New Year's Resolutions.

    I believe that is correct--but I am no "authority". English professors may feel free to correct me.

  4. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Ok Sue, my Mom was an English teacher - so what did I do? I went to a blank page in my "Word for Windows" and typed it 4 times. Twice with the commas and "January" spelled out and twice without the commas and the date in numbers.

    The only thing that spelling and grammar kicked back were the two that had the commas in them and read as follows:

    Testing on 2/2/02, showed fluffy cats.
    Testing on January 2, 2002, showed fluffy cats.
    They were considered "sentence fragments".

    Hope this helps - I'm going to fiddle on the web to find current "comma" etiquite!
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2010
  5. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Lots of changes grammatically, with no one on the same page, LOL. I was recently told that we're moving away from using dashes (stroke-like is now strokelike, etc.) but then I got nailed for not using dashes.

    Daisy, I specifically have to use the slash format (01/02/2010) for this account. There are rules and then there are the rules that the clients make up. ;) I've checked with- the quality folks and of course got 2 different opinions.

    Maybe I should just resign myself to never achieving perfection again. ARGH!! :hammer:
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Fluffy cats were shown by the testing on 1/2/1990.

    Actually there would be no comma when used in numeric format; however, "general" rule of thumb is that you "spell out" anything under 100. With dates it gets trickier, since the month gets spelled but not the day though it is always under 100.

    Commas are one of my pet peeves - those and misused apostrophes, as well as spellings.
  7. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    LOL, Beth - I just tried that. If you type "The testing..." it's not a fragment, and apparently Word doesn't care about commas and dates.
  8. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Step, are you my new auditor????? :rofl:
  9. nvts

    nvts Active Member

  10. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Ah-Ha! I never thought of tossing in the word "the". Something evil is afoot with Word! ;)

  11. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Oh! Oh! Ask everywoman -- she'll know! :D

    I was an English major in college, but danged if I could tell you the rules. My grammatical savvy tends to rely on intuition more than memorization of the "rules," Know what I mean??

    Didja try googling comma usage/dates?
  12. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    GCV - google is always my first stop. ;) I did find some really good sites on commas, but all the date info had dates written out, not in numerical format.
  13. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    :rofl: Nah, I'm just type-A with a bachelors' degree in English.

    I write.

    I see billboards with typographical errors and it makes me see red. I hear someone mispronounce "nuclear" and I want to go for the jugular. The word "jewelry" makes me crazy.

    The only place I can stand typos is in text messages. I have learned not to go ballistic when someone sends me "mayb" instead of "maybe". Or "likeabale" - does this mean they like hay? YARGH!

    Type-A (or should that be Type A?), A/R with mild Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)... :D
  14. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    I HATE that commercial where you send in your old and broken jewelry for cash and the people are saying "jewlery"!!!

    You're paying for a commercial - trying to get people to use your service - and you CAN'T GET THE ACTORS TO PRONOUNCE THE WORDS RIGHT?!!!

    That drives me nuts!

    I have too much stuff driving me nuts anymore...I've got to relax...

  15. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Beth... too funny... Mispronunciation is the bane of my existence... Probably because I had a "difficult" maiden name. Actually it was pronounced the same way it was spelled... Too hard for most people though.
  16. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

  17. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    The mispronunciation of jewelry is bad enough but the one that really gets me is when they are selling real estate and the refer to a realator. If they're in the business, wouldn't you think they'd know it is realtor?
    Preventative for preventive is another one of my pet peeves. Obviously they don't know about root words, suffixes, and spelling rules - and I hear that one constantly.
  18. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    FB: I correct your bad grammar in my head while you're speaking.
  19. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Commas with Dates
    When a date is made up of two or more parts, use a comma to separate the parts when the parts both are words or both are numbers. A second comma follows the last item unless it is at the end of a list or sentence.

    Step?! VERY impressive. (I'm still waiting for an inter-bang key on my computer) Inter-bang is the conjunction of an exclamation and question mark. It can also be confused with what happens when you try to hold in gas in a public meeting.
  20. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Or you just have a date with a comma and call it "Comma-dating!"

    Heck I probably didnt even get that grammatically correct!