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    • Join Date: Jun 2009
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    #1

    direct speech punctuation

    I'd like to know which sentence is (more) correct with regards to comma usage and why.

    "For the last time, Briony, stop messing around!"
    or
    "For the last time Briony, stop messing around!"


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #2

    Re: direct speech punctuation

    "For the last time, Briony, stop messing around!"

    see Commas | Punctuation Rules

    What is written for the sake of clarity, does not always reflect what is actually said: in exasperated utterances, few would actually pause before the person's name!


    • Join Date: Jun 2009
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    #3

    Re: direct speech punctuation

    Therefore, David L., what you are saying is that there should be a comma on both side of "Briony" although it doesn't sound like that when spoken?

    Does it mean then that the other way - with just a single comma, after "Briony") - is 100% incorrect?

    ps. I've just noticed that I've used commas to bracket off your name in my first sentence! But that is because it is not an exasperated utterance. So, are rules the same for all sentences regardles of the context?
    Last edited by vanity; 13-Jul-2009 at 15:29.


    • Join Date: Jun 2009
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    #4

    Re: direct speech punctuation

    David L, are you still there? Or someone else perhaps?

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: direct speech punctuation

    Quote Originally Posted by vanity View Post
    I'd like to know which sentence is (more) correct with regards to comma usage and why.

    "For the last time, Briony, stop messing around!"
    or
    "For the last time Briony, stop messing around!"
    If I were you, I would use the second sentence it conveys the appropriate sense of exasperation.


    • Join Date: Jun 2009
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    #6

    Re: direct speech punctuation

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    If I were you, I would use the second sentence it conveys the appropriate sense of exasperation.
    Thank you, bhaisahab, this is exactly what I thought!
    But, should I write it like that (a single comma after the name of the person spoken to), would I fail in an exam?

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: direct speech punctuation

    Quote Originally Posted by vanity View Post
    Thank you, bhaisahab, this is exactly what I thought!
    But, should I write it like that (a single comma after the name of the person spoken to), would I fail in an exam?
    I wouldn't fail it. It depends on the attitude of the examiner unfortunately.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #8

    Re: direct speech punctuation

    I wouldn't fail it. It depends on the attitude of the examiner unfortunately....which means that you would fail!
    bhaisahab: you're ego doesn't come into this!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    "I wouldn't fail it", indeed! Egocentrism.

    The website I gave you, vanity, gives you the correct punctuation for exams. I pointed out that what is correct written punctuation for clarity when reading (when we don't have the speaker's voice with pauses, rhythm, stress and intonation, and so rely on punctuation to convey as much of this clarity as it can.)

    Egocentrics really annoy me.

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: direct speech punctuation

    Quote Originally Posted by vanity View Post
    I'd like to know which sentence is (more) correct with regards to comma usage and why.

    "For the last time, Briony, stop messing around!"
    or
    "For the last time Briony, stop messing around!"
    Is this part of a creative writing exercise or a test of punctuation?


    • Join Date: Jun 2009
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    #10

    Re: direct speech punctuation

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Is this part of a creative writing exercise or a test of punctuation?
    Neither, just a debate amongst a few English - loving, nerdy friends.

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