Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1
Old 10-13-2004, 05:29 PM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 2,003
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."
#2
Old 10-13-2004, 05:32 PM
Guest
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 23,487
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.
#3
Old 10-13-2004, 05:38 PM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 2,003
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.
#4
Old 10-13-2004, 05:42 PM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 2,003
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.
#5
Old 10-13-2004, 06:07 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: A better place to be
Posts: 26,718
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.
#6
Old 10-13-2004, 06:12 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 5,820
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.
#7
Old 10-13-2004, 06:18 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 5,820
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.
#8
Old 10-13-2004, 06:19 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 5,820
Oops! Technically, not illegal, but it would be a basis for a lawsuit.
#9
Old 10-13-2004, 06:43 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 42,287
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.
#10
Old 10-13-2004, 06:57 PM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 2,003
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.
#11
Old 10-13-2004, 07:21 PM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Sector R
Posts: 3,891
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.")
#12
Old 10-13-2004, 10:26 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: A better place to be
Posts: 26,718
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.
#13
Old 10-13-2004, 11:11 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 5,791
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.
#14
Old 10-13-2004, 11:13 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 5,791
Oh, and while I'm being a smart-ass know-it-all, the OP is a question of punctuation, not grammar.

commasense, professional editor.
#15
Old 10-14-2004, 12:05 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 42,287
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.)
#16
Old 10-14-2004, 01:46 PM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 2,003
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.
#17
Old 10-14-2004, 03:34 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 5,791
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?)
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:01 PM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: shave it prices dremmel router jimmy don thornton wacky deli toothache cartoons 15 foot uhaul liquid alum buy coleslaw lightning metal dope amazon swallowing glass shards hasenfeffer incorporated 4x4x10 lowes profilext practice layne staley 1999 define wigger pseudoephedrine sleep muppet bike certified mail signature zipper stop repair teflon birds barbara fitts melatonin alcohol grandmother dying metaphor roma names dog neck brace 151 discontinued nippleless people emotional rollercoaster synonym heroine spoon fluffer urban joseph ciminera dig out crawlspace aarp worth it california license plates numbering system is there a day where no one died do traffic warnings go on your record uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh rock song why do my eyes water every morning what is mild detergent ball with handles to bounce on what is the lapel pin bernie sanders wears will guaifenesin get you high detox products at walgreens how to make a flying monkey costume my daughter listens to heavy metal camping without a fire words with 4 vowels failing out of grad school uses for cube steak the last american virgin ending ge potscrubber dishwasher won't drain pair of pliers and a blowtorch who were the yankees does a gfci outlet need to be grounded gmail this connection is untrusted illegal sawed off shotgun napoleon dynamite time period why do accountants wear visors can you take benadryl with claritin d drano bad for pipes why do people clink glasses aol mail search doesn't work what does registration event renewal mean hormel pickled pigs feet browser back button doesn t work i could tell you but then i'd have to kill you in dutch with the wife that's a negative ghostrider the pattern is full songs that have the word baby in them