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  #1  
Old 10-13-2004, 04:29 PM
Duderdude2 Duderdude2 is offline
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Quick Grammar Question: Comma inbetween author's name and book title?

When referencing a book in a written paper, do I place a commas after the author's name and before the book title? For instance, here's the passage the question arose from:

"It is with these conventions that Bevin Alexander’s How Wars Are Won, a book which discusses the nature of war, demonstrates the effectiveness of these conventions."

So should it look like that, or like this:

"It is with these conventions that Bevin Alexander’s, How Wars Are Won, a book which discusses the nature of war, demonstrates the effectiveness of these conventions."
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  #2  
Old 10-13-2004, 04:32 PM
friedo friedo is offline
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I've never known of a place where you'd use a comma between a posessive and the noun, and this is no exception. You should definitely use the first one.

Also, use italics for book titles instead of underlines. Underlines are for people with typewriters.
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  #3  
Old 10-13-2004, 04:38 PM
Duderdude2 Duderdude2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by friedo
Also, use italics for book titles instead of underlines. Underlines are for people with typewriters.
I thought so, but my english teacher said either was fine, so neener-neerner

Yeah, I'll go with the italics.
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  #4  
Old 10-13-2004, 04:42 PM
Duderdude2 Duderdude2 is offline
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Ok, one more (Note the comma after "Citation"):

"Had the passage lacked this citation readers would be unsure of who exactly “school of thought” refers to and would likely be less receptive of the author’s perspective."

Or

"Had the passage lacked this citation, readers would be unsure of who exactly “school of thought” refers to and would likely be less receptive of the author’s perspective."

I'm fairly positive the former is correct, but after yesterday's lesson, I'm seriously questioning all knowledge I have regarding commas.
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  #5  
Old 10-13-2004, 05:07 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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No comma there. You may be confusing this with the rule that puts the author's name, usually but not always preceded by by, within commas after the title, by way of abbreviated citation. Certainly one never needs to say, "War and Peace, by Count Leo Tolstoy, is deemed one of the classic Russian novels" -- but "Scandinavian Myth and Toponymy, by Otto Jespersen, is a classic in its field" provides useful information about the cited volume.
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  #6  
Old 10-13-2004, 05:12 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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As a general rule [comma here if you are so inclined] when the sentence requires a pause [comma here if you are so inclined] a comma should be used. In your example [comma here if so inclined] you have an introductory clause which ["that" here if you are so inclined] normally requires a comma.

Personally [comma here if so inclined] I would be inclined to use the comma [comma here if so inclined] if nothing else but to avoid confusion; moreover, there is a natural pause after "citation." Without the comma [comma here if you are so inclined] one may have to reread the sentence to get the correct meaning. Having said that [comma here if so inclined] modern usage seems to eliminate commas in these situations. You cannot go wrong using the comma.

With words like "however" and "moreover" (note above paragraph) [comma here if so inclined] a comma must be used following the word and a semicolon before the word (or a new sentence used) in most cases.
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  #7  
Old 10-13-2004, 05:18 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polycarp
No comma there. You may be confusing this with the rule that puts the author's name, usually but not always preceded by by, within commas after the title, by way of abbreviated citation. Certainly one never needs to say, "War and Peace, by Count Leo Tolstoy, is deemed one of the classic Russian novels" -- but "Scandinavian Myth and Toponymy, by Otto Jespersen, is a classic in its field" provides useful information about the cited volume.
I think commas are correct in both situations, unless different authors have used the same title, which not only is unlikely but probably illegal, unless the copyright expired.
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  #8  
Old 10-13-2004, 05:19 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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Oops! Technically, not illegal, but it would be a basis for a lawsuit.
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  #9  
Old 10-13-2004, 05:43 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duderdude2
I thought so, but my english teacher said either was fine, so neener-neerner
Well, I'd take issue with your teacher, because the second one is clearly incorrect.
I mean, you wouldn't say "I've heard that Pete's, cat, is sick." Would you? There's no reason to separate the book title from the possessive, either. It makes no sense to do so.
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  #10  
Old 10-13-2004, 05:57 PM
Duderdude2 Duderdude2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell
Well, I'd take issue with your teacher, because the second one is clearly incorrect.
I mean, you wouldn't say "I've heard that Pete's, cat, is sick." Would you? There's no reason to separate the book title from the possessive, either. It makes no sense to do so.
No, I was speaking in regards to using either an underline or italics for a title. Sorry for the confusion.
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  #11  
Old 10-13-2004, 06:21 PM
Early Out Early Out is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duderdude2
Ok, one more (Note the comma after "Citation"):

"Had the passage lacked this citation readers would be unsure of who exactly “school of thought” refers to and would likely be less receptive of the author’s perspective."

Or

"Had the passage lacked this citation, readers would be unsure of who exactly “school of thought” refers to and would likely be less receptive of the author’s perspective."

I'm fairly positive the former is correct, but after yesterday's lesson, I'm seriously questioning all knowledge I have regarding commas.
The lack of a comma in your first example causes the person reading the sentence to stop for a moment, and think, "What are 'citation readers?" It needs the comma to give the reader a necessary clue about where that introductory clause ends.

(And BTW, it's "receptive to," not "receptive of.")
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  #12  
Old 10-13-2004, 09:26 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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Sorry for the confusion. My comment was relative to the OP -- suggesting that no comma was appropriate after the author's name in the usage "Fred Writer's History of Elbonia" -- I would most definitely use a comma after "citation" in Duderdude's follow-up question, for clarity's sake.
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  #13  
Old 10-13-2004, 10:11 PM
commasense commasense is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barbitu8
I think commas are correct in both situations, unless different authors have used the same title, which not only is unlikely but probably illegal, unless the copyright expired.
Not illegal or a basis for a lawsuit, unless the title was trademarked, which is relatively rare. Titles cannot be copyrighted. Cite. There are plenty of books with the same title.
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  #14  
Old 10-13-2004, 10:13 PM
commasense commasense is offline
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Oh, and while I'm being a smart-ass know-it-all, the OP is a question of punctuation, not grammar.

commasense, professional editor.
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  #15  
Old 10-13-2004, 11:05 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duderdude2
No, I was speaking in regards to using either an underline or italics for a title. Sorry for the confusion.


That's what I get for skimming the quote. Anyhow, in this day and age, italics are preferred. Underlined titles (on typewritten pages) would get turned into italics when typeset, anyway. Underlining is a typewriter convention (as has been mentioned.)
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  #16  
Old 10-14-2004, 12:46 PM
Duderdude2 Duderdude2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Early Out
(And BTW, it's "receptive to," not "receptive of.")
Really? That just sounds odd to me...but if you say so.
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  #17  
Old 10-14-2004, 02:34 PM
commasense commasense is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duderdude2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Early Out
(And BTW, it's "receptive to," not "receptive of.")
Really? That just sounds odd to me...but if you say so.
I say so, too.

(And why the hell didn't I catch that?)
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