Thursday, May 28, 2009

Too Be or Not Too Be

Too be or not too be? That is the question without a definite answer.

Not long ago, I advised in a post that commas are no longer required to set apart the word "too" in a sentence. Little did I know pointing out this issue would spark much controversy.

Most publishers prefer to follow the style rules established in The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS). Well, CMOS does not address this matter directly. It does, however, provide some clarity in the online Q&A at Their answer simply states that commas are not necessary with the word "too" unless the sentence does not make sense without them. They say "it puts too much pressure on the comma" to give the minute punctuation mark the great responsibility of thought clarity. Hello? Isn't that the purpose of the comma in every instance?

My formal advice would be to check the style guidelines of your target publisher. If they want commas, use them. If they don't, don't. Whatever you do, though, be consistent! I doubt the appearance or absence of a comma will be the deciding factor for a publisher's acceptance or rejection. Present your best work and let the writing speak for itself.


Post a Comment

I'm so glad you stopped by!

This sums it up ;)

This sums it up ;)