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Comma before 'according to'

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

  1. Attribution at start of sentence or end?
     
  2. Twirling Time

    Twirling Time Well-Known Member

    Or by a comma when the feeling’s not as strong.
     
  3. goalmouth

    goalmouth Well-Known Member

    This was the single best thread on SJ.com in years said one poster.
     
  4. Raven

    Raven Active Member

    ALWAYS at the end. I hate when people put the attribution at the front, especially "According to..."
     
    Liut likes this.
  5. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    I usually go by the rule of USING FUCKING GRAMMAR AND STYLE RULES!!! Who gives a fuck when you take a breath? Follow grammar and style. Both those say you use a fucking comma.
     
    Raven likes this.
  6. Junkie

    Junkie Active Member

    Except that in this one you possibly don’t.

    Craig had a double cheeseburger for dinner and apple pie for dessert in what was a banner night according to friend Ernie Johnson.

    Depends on the context.
     
  7. Raven

    Raven Active Member

    No. I've fixed it.

    Craig had a double cheeseburger for dinner and apple pie for dessert in what was a banner night, according to his friend, Ernie Johnson.
     
    JRoyal likes this.
  8. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    And really with people, you should use said. So it should be:

    “Craig had a double cheeseburger for dinner and apple pie for dessert in what was a banner night, said his friend, Ernie Johnson.”

    And if, as his boss said, the paper’s style is to use a comma before “according to,” then guess what? YOU USE A FUCKING COMMA BEFORE ACCORDING TO!
     
  9. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    And if you want the “according to” to be about “night,” re-fucking-phrase so it doesn’t sound so weird. End with “what his friend, Ernie Johnson, called a banner night.”
     
  10. Junkie

    Junkie Active Member

    Agree with using "said" with people. And if the paper's style is to use a comma before "according to" IT STILL DEPENDS ON THE FUCKING CONTEXT. That's according to English.
     
  11. Junkie

    Junkie Active Member

    That made it worse.
     
  12. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    Listen, we can debate clauses and how to make that sentence better all day, which is really what you're nitpicking bullshit boils down to. But that's not the kind of thing he's talking about, clearly. He just gave a crappy example, and you're now a dog with a fucking bone who won't let it go. He's talking about attribution at the end of the sentence where the attribution isn't in regards to one small part of the sentence. He just wrote a shitty fucking sentence as an example of it. And in that case, according to grammar and style (and the local style was laid down to him by his boss), you use a fucking comma.

    Yes, there are some rare occasions where a shitty writer will write a shitty sentence where you wouldn't (I'm not calling the OP a shitty writer because I don't think he'd ever write that shitty sentence in a story). But in most of those cases, the question shouldn't be where the comma goes. It should be how to phrase things better. If you can't tell what the attribution goes with, it's a shitty fucking sentence whether you put a comma in or not.

    But maybe he did mean it to be attribution for the one part of the whole sentence. In which case, the solution isn't to leave out the comma. He should re-write it to make it better. "Craig had a double cheeseburger for dinner and apple pie for dessert. It was a banner night, according to his friend, Ernie Johnson." That's probably the best way to do it.

    So, sure, you're right. If you want to be a shitty writer.
     
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