Monday, April 4, 2011

Today's Writing Tip Is Thank You, Elizabeth

I can't tell you how many times I’ve seen people thanking each other on Facebook for having posted a link or making a comment. And nine times out of 10, they forget to put in the comma between the word thanks and the person's name.

If I say that Elizabeth Taylor will be greatly missed because she was a terrific activist, you can agree with me or disagree; however, no matter how you phrase your statement, when you put my name at the end of it, you want to insert a comma.

"Elizabeth Taylor worked tirelessly for AIDS even before Rock Hudson was diagnosed, Sigrid."

"Maybe if Larry King and Liz Taylor had gotten married once, they wouldn't have had to marry seven people afterwards, Siggy."

"Thanks for this info, Sigrid."

"Thanks for nothing, Sig!"

The same is technically true for words like hi, hello, and goodbye, but it's not true for dear. You can say, “Dear Liz,” (no comma) or you can say, “Hello, Liz” (comma). Because Elizabeth Taylor was a beautiful, talented and dedicated human being, I will use this forum to say, “Goodbye, Elizabeth. You did your share. RIP."

Learn more about word usage in my third book, Be Your Own Editor. When should you use between or among, further and farther, or complement and compliment? Find out in BYOE, available on in print and now a bestseller on Kindle. (

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