from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Grammar A punctuation mark ( , ) used to indicate a separation of ideas or of elements within the structure of a sentence.
- n. A pause or separation; a caesura.
- n. Any of several butterflies of the genus Polygonia, having wings with brownish coloring and irregularly notched edges.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Punctuation mark (,) (usually indicating a pause between parts of a sentence or between elements in a list).
- n. A diacritical mark used below certain letters in Romanian.
- n. A European and North American butterfly, Polygonia c-album, of the family Nymphalidae.
- n. a small or very small interval between two enharmonic notes tuned in different ways.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A character or point [,] marking the smallest divisions of a sentence, written or printed.
- n. A small interval (the difference between a major and minor half step), seldom used except by tuners.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In ancient Grammar and rhetoric, a group of a few words only; a phrase or short clause, forming part of a colon or longer clause.
- n. In ancient prosody: A fragment or smaller section of a colon; a group of a few words or feet not constituting a complete metrical series.
- n. The part of a dactylic hexameter ending with, or that beginning with, the cesura; also, the cesura itself.
- n. A clause.
- n. In rhetoric, a slight pause between two phrases, clauses, or words.
- n. In musical acoustics: The interval between the octave of a given tone and the tone produced by taking six successive whole steps from the given tone, represented by the ratios , or 531441:524288. Also called the Pythagorean comma, or comma maxima.
- n. The interval between the larger and the smaller whole steps, represented by the ratio , or 81:80. Also called the Didymic or syntonic comma.
- n. In punctuation, a point (,) used to indicate the smallest interruptions in continuity of thought or grammatical construction, the marking of which contributes to clearness.
- n. A spot or mark shaped like such a comma.
- n. In entomology: A butterfly, Grapta comma-album: so named from a comma-shaped white mark on the under side of the wings.
- n. [capitalized] [NL.] A genus of lepidopterous insects.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a punctuation mark (,) used to indicate the separation of elements within the grammatical structure of a sentence
- n. anglewing butterfly with a comma-shaped mark on the underside of each hind wing
(_Grapta interrogationis_); comma (_Vanessa comma_), 153; orange; white (_Aphrodite_), 154; white cabbage (_Pontia oleracea_) 153.
But whatever you call the comma, is it right or wrong?
But when in doubt, a comma is always tasteful and never out of style -- as long as one uses it correctly.
That's usually what we call the comma cloud, where we kind of -- the hook echo.
All the interesting punctuation debates I have are internal, as I debate whether or not a comma is necessary in a given spot, or whether two clauses are sufficiently related to be separated by a mere semi-colon.
Not a comma is out of place; and the tone — ah! — is lofty, so lofty.
“The comma is a manifestation of a massive area of disagreement still among the parties,” Havercamp of the Environmental Defense Fund said.
A comma is needed after “you see” and “monsey”, which is also misspelled.
NL: It depends on the author, but in general, the comma is probably most misused, if for no other reason than its frequency.
Another reason I love Valerie: she actually says the word comma in that comment.