advice you can use — short and to the point — every Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday

Wednesday, August 5th, 2020 technology  research  practice

  • Research & Writing

How would you punctuate the following?

Former Minneapolis Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin and two colleagues J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane have been charged with multiple offences in connection with the death of George Floyd.

No points for saying there should be a comma after Minneapolis; that’s too obvious.

Demerit points for suggesting there should be commas on either side of Derek Chauvin; there are multiple (former) Minneapolis cops, so the commas would be wrong, because they’d suggest Chauvin is the only one in that category.

Points for a comma after colleagues and one after Lane; you need these to define the two specific colleagues in question.

Bonus points for putting a comma after Minnesota — although I suspect it is more common now not to do that. Doesn’t make it right, although there is some benefit in not cluttering things up with commas that may not add much. 

Thanks to John Hightower of Lanier Ford in Huntsville, Alabama, for suggesting this topic.

Neil Guthrie (@guthrieneil)