When to put a comma in "The book 'Moby Dick'"


“Idaho Poet Laureate, Paisley Rekdal, will be the featured keynote speaker for the ACES 2020 annual conference.”

The tweet from the American Copy Editors Society drew immediate scrutiny.
“Is this how we’re supposed to punctuate this sort of sentence now?” asked a comma-savvy observer.

The folks at the copy-editing professional association did what professional copy editors always do when busted making a mistake. They ’fessed up.

“That’s a goof,” the ACES rep admitted. “And it’s a good reminder that even editors need editors.”

For an error like the one in that tweet, it takes a pro to bust a pro. Many wouldn’t realize that there should be no commas around the name Paisley Rekdal because the rules governing commas in this situation aren’t well understood.

The question of whether to use one here rests on whether the second noun phrase, the poet's name, is the main noun phrase or something called an appositive. Here's my recent column explaining the difference.

Tags: , , , ,