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 Post subject: Irksome comma within dates
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 2:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 12:01 am
Posts: 101
Location: Inner Baltimore
[The college] will officially close from Wednesday, August 18, through Sunday, August 22, 2004, while we complete a critical campus electrical power upgrade.<p>Never mind that the words “critical” and “campus” are unnecessary (I cut them, but was overruled.). My problem is the comma after “August 18.” I took it out. They put it back in, calling it a restrictive clause.<p>Can anybody here back me up? Doesn’t the preposition “through” kinda obviate the comma? Doesn’t the comma just look wrong there? What we mean to say is "August 18 through August 22, 2004," not “Wednesday through Sunday.” It's not the clause "August 18" that's restrictive, but "Wednesday" and “Sunday” -- especially since the purpose of the sentence is to indicate a date several months in the future, when the days of the week would likely have far lesser significance in our long-range planning. Or am I completely missing the issue here?<p>I regret that such a pitiful and niggling issue should mark my first submission to your board, but man, that comma’s just irking the crap outta me.


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 Post subject: Re: Irksome comma within dates
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 3:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 12, 2003 12:01 am
Posts: 35
Location: distressingly close to Great Falls, Mont.
<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by JPSheehan:
[The college] will officially close from Wednesday, August 18, through Sunday, August 22, 2004, while we complete a critical campus electrical power upgrade.<hr></blockquote><p>Also unnecessary: officially, from, 2004 and power. <p>The days of the week are probably important to students and faculty who will wonder how the closure affects class schedules, especially in the summer, when many courses meet only one day a week. <p>Separating the days of the week by the dates of the month is not the best way to clarify information for the reader. Please group days and dates.<p>The college will close Wednesday through Sunday, Aug. 18-22, to upgrade the electrical system.<p>But you're screwed already if you were overruled on the other points. I'd suggest you ignore the comma if "they" make you adhere to the press release as written.<p>Mocking eduspeak is a favorite pastime on our copy desk, but fixing it makes us testy.<p>[ April 05, 2004: Message edited by: grouch_in_training ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: Irksome comma within dates
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 3:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 744
Location: HuskerLand
Well, I'm not thrilled with the second version either, but I agree with taking the comma out after the 18th.<p>"A major electrical upgrade will be conducted on campus from Wednesday, April 18 through Sunday, April 22." Looks right to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Irksome comma within dates
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 8:37 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 12:01 am
Posts: 101
Location: Inner Baltimore
Thanks, folks. Your comments -- and rewrites -- are instructive.


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