Comma for Direct Address
“Thank you Miki,” my students often write. You’d think I’d be gratified. But no, I’m not. I’m in turmoil. Where is that comma for direct address? Where did these people go to school? Why, now, as adults, don’t they know that a comma is always used for direct address? Why isn’t the comma as automatic as that thank you?
Please, dear students, write, “Thank you, Miki.” Ah. I like the thank you but if they don’t use the comma for direct address, the lack of a comma makes me wonder what else they’re doing while my back is turned.
Could they be writing, “Joe glared at his mother. ‘Mom please don’t tell Iris you spoke to me” when they should be writing “Mom COMMA FOR DIRECT ADDRESS…” If I’ve told that student once, I’ve told him ten times or more.
Which brings a second complaint of mine to mind. Why is the student not paying attention? As I said to my friend who teaches a martial art, “We need to have classes somewhere in how to learn.”
Most, really most, students don’t appear to want to absorb correction, and most, really most, have the patience of gnats: That assignment didn’t go well, so I guess this writing thing isn’t for me.
Oh well… But try the comma for direct address, students. Really, I mean it.
All the uses of the comma are explained in The Naked Writer, my style and composition guide from Curiosity Quills, which you can download at Amazon.
And to see commas in action, buy a hard copy or download Question Woman & Howling Sky from Portals Publishing at Amazon.
Or if you want me to chide you personally for your comma use, take a class with me at Writer’s Digest University.