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Grammar Tips & Tidbits

 

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Comma Confusion: Abbreviations
 

Thank you for joining me for another installment in the Comma Confusion Series! In this issue, we'll be addressing a variety of comma-related topics.

It's no wonder commas are so confusing―there are an endless number of rules for using them. The following guidelines are based on those found in the tenth edition of The Gregg Reference Manual
 


Commas with Jr. or Sr.

A comma is not needed to separate Jr., Sr., or roman numerals following a person's name unless the person in question prefers to use a comma.
 

Examples:
●   Raphael E. Urbino Jr.
●   Curtis M. Green Sr.
●   Cornell Barteldt III
 
Note:
When the person in question prefers to use a comma in his name, follow the style shown below:
 
●   Conrad Northcutt, Sr.
●   Conrad Northcutt, Sr., will be attending the banquet tonight.
●   Conrad Northcutt, Sr.'s successor begins work tomorrow.
    (no commas with possessives)

 
 

Commas with Inc. or Ltd.

A comma is not needed to separate Inc. or Ltd. following an organization's name unless the organization in question prefers to use a comma.
 

Examples:
●   Apple Inc.
●   Peterson & Sons Ltd.
 
Note:
When the organization in question prefers to use a comma in its name, follow the style shown below:
 
●   Genentech, Inc.
●   Genentech, Inc., just announced a new groundbreaking medication.
●   Genentech, Inc.'s corporate headquarters is located in San Francisco.
    (no commas with possessives)

 


Commas with Etc., etc.

When an expression such as etc. or and so on closes a series, use a comma before and after the expression (except at the end of a sentence).
 

Examples:
●   The sale on bread, cakes, pastries, etc., begins on Monday.
●   The company sells office furniture, equipment, supplies, and so on.


To read additional issues in the Comma Confusion Series, see the Grammar Tips & Tidbits Archive.

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Sources:
 

1. Sabin, William A. The Gregg Reference Manual. 10th edition.
         New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2005, pp. 37-40.