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No. of Recommendations: 3
If I have some balloons, a red, a blue and white, I have two balloons. If I have a red, a blue, and a white, I have three. Comma placement distinguishes number.


Not so fast.

Note the bolding. It's not the added comma in your second example that clarifies meaning. It's the article "a" that you also added. Add that "a" in your first sentence and your three balloons are crystal clear, final comma or no.

If all you add is the final comma -- "If I have some balloons, a red, a blue, and white, I have three -- the meaning does comes across but the construction's a tad awkward. But adding just that one little "a" -- "If I have some balloons, a red, a blue and a white, I have three" -- that extra comma is superfluous.


But when it comes to this.....What bugs me is comma placement with ‘and’. Too many put the comma ahead of it....... Total agreement. It's a real peeve of mine!


sheila
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