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Comma before 'according to'

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Craig Sagers Tailor, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. Craig Sagers Tailor

    Craig Sagers Tailor Active Member

    Is a comma before 'according to' mandatory in a news report? If you're attributing something to police?

    My boss told me it is, but I feel like it isn't.

    Craig had a double cheeseburger for dinner and apple pie for dessert in what was a banner night according to friend Ernie Johnson.
    Craig went to the store and bought a bunch of crazy suits, according to friends.

    I just thought of these off the top of my head so these may not be the best examples, but I feel like both of these sentences feel right. Could be wrong obviously.
    Liut likes this.
  2. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    I’d use the comma. That clause needs some separation.
    fossywriter8 and Liut like this.
  3. jlee

    jlee Well-Known Member

    If your publication uses the comma, use it. If it doesn’t, don’t. Consistency is the point of style.
    Liut likes this.
  4. Twirling Time

    Twirling Time Well-Known Member

    Just don't suffer from ,premature punctuation.
    BTExpress, Liut and Slacker like this.
  5. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    It's a subordinate, secondary, dependent thought. Use the comma, especially if the preceding statement is long or complex.
    Liut likes this.
  6. SixToe

    SixToe Well-Known Member

    Use the comma at that juncture, according to a lot of people.
  7. CD Boogie

    CD Boogie Well-Known Member

    It absolutely is necessary. Just say it aloud. Do you pause before you say according? I hope so because otherwise you'd sound like a guy calling an auction.
    Craig Sagers Tailor likes this.
  8. Craig Sagers Tailor

    Craig Sagers Tailor Active Member

    Thanks for the input. I usually go by the rule of inserting one when 'taking a breath' in a sentence. I guess people can differ on when that 'breath' comes.

    I also think our outlet uses way too many commas in general, but that's just me.
  9. Junkie

    Junkie Active Member

    In your first example, it all depends on what was according to Ernie Johnson. Was Ernie just talking about the banner night? If so, no comma. Was Ernie telling a story about Craig, his burger and pie, and the banner night? If so, then comma.

    In your second example, it's clear attribution. So, comma.
  10. Though when attributing a fact to a human, it’s better to say said. But, yes, comma.
    Fred siegle and reformedhack like this.
  11. Fred siegle

    Fred siegle Well-Known Member

    Elaine: Well, you know Jake, you should learn to use them. Like the way I'm talking right now, I would put an exclamation points at the end of all these sentences! On this one! And on that one!
  12. Danwriter

    Danwriter Member

    Yes, also because you'd definitely use the comma if you reverse the order:

    According to friends, Craig went to the store and bought a bunch of crazy suits.
    MNgremlin likes this.
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