The Meeting Place

Why commas matter

Boring grammar but costly at times.

The latest case … the costly $13 million comma

Portland-based company Oakhurst Dairy will potentially owe $US10 million ($13 million) to 75 milk-truck drivers in the US state of Maine because of a missing comma in a legal clause.

Another … Lockheed Martin $70m

US defence giant Lockheed Martin signed a deal to build Hercules military transport aircraft. But the formula to work out the aircrafts' price had a comma that was one decimal place out. That comma cost Lockheed $70 million.

In 1872, one misplaced comma in a tariff law cost American taxpayers more than $2 million, or $38,350,000 in today’s dollars.

The Case of The Million Dollar Comma … the case of Rogers Communications Inc., Canada’s largest cable television provider.


RnR there are a whole list of other hilarious ones somewhere, I wish I could remember where, could be in the book Eats, shoots and leaves. 

Here is another one with missing Commas

Attention: Toilet only for disabled elderly pregnant children. Thank you!"

:) Good one Viv. So funny.

"We're going to learn to cut and paste kids" instead of "We're going to learn to cut and paste, kids".

"Let's eat Grandpa" instead of "Let's eat, Grandpa"

and the list goes on!

My pet hate though is the omission of the ' on social media, as in "Your my friend" instead of "You're my friend".  Just laziness.

"Your my friend" instead of "You're my friend".

:) Taragosun ... agree re the dreaded apostrophe ... that's a whole other punctuation minefield.

Their,they're there.   Nah jus lak OV ejukashun.

:) petes2506 ... and no wonder.

I do not understand RnR

The sign deliberately did not use apostrophe's and used the long form

So they are right


How do you spell here in that sentence  Raphael ??


the same way I spell on any other forum or correspondence

what's so special about the YLC forum?

Apostrophes now: Britain at war over punctuation of street signs

Punctuation protectors are getting out their black marker pens over a decision by some councils to get rid of apostrophes from street signs.

"I know a man with a wooden leg called Fred."

What does he call the other one?

If you write, write , write , you write ,write right.
If your write, write , right you write , write

Anyone know if commas are needed or in the right place .

Right means
• morally upright
• in agreement with the truth or a fact
• what is correct according to someone’s opinion or judgement
• socially important
• a direction that when a person faces north, corresponds eastward
• politically conservative
• legally entitled
• thoroughly
• precisely
• restore to a correct, upright position
• put in order.

Write means
• mark on a surface with an implement
• type on a device
• compose and send a message.

Rite means
• a religious or other solemn ceremony or act
• a body of customary observances
• a social custom, practice, or conventional act.

:( Far out … no wonder we gggggget confused.

In both the books I have written I have refused to put in the serial comma before and. It simply doesn't need it.

:) Serial commas are a serial pest IMO.

snowflake is a serial offender


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