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In the following sentence, should there be a comma after the word slogan?

The 1958 Ford Edsel was advertised with the slogan "Once you've seen it, you'll never forget it."

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I'm pretty certain that the answer is yes, though I don't know the specific reference to back that up. –  tylerl May 13 '13 at 4:06
    
@tylerl That was my gut feel too, but the quotation doesn't take a comma because it's a restrictive appositive, similar to “... the word slogan?” earlier in the question. –  Bradd Szonye May 13 '13 at 4:40
    
Quotations do have some special rules, but the comma before a quotation as a special rule is pretty much limited to the case where the word preceding the quotation is a verb. Other cases of a comma before a quotation would apply equally to other kinds of clauses. Slogan isn't a verb so it doesn't demand a comma, and the quote is a restrictive appositive, so it does not get a comma before it. –  Old Pro May 13 '13 at 5:51
    
At least in this particular case, the comma is more a question of style than grammar. –  Kris May 13 '13 at 6:58
    
The slogan is almost ironic; the Edsel was a supremely ugly car. –  Andrew Leach May 13 '13 at 9:03
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closed as off topic by MετάEd, Kris, kiamlaluno, Hellion, Carlo_R. May 13 '13 at 20:57

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2 Answers

The quotation is in apposition with slogan.

In a non-restrictive appositive, the second element parenthetically modifies the first without changing its scope and it is not crucial to the meaning of the sentence. In a restrictive appositive, the second element limits or clarifies the foregoing one in some crucial way.

If the quotation were merely a parenthetical remark, you would set it off with a comma. However, because this quotation specifies the nature of the slogan and is integral to the sentence, it is a restrictive appositive with no comma:

The 1958 Ford Edsel was advertised with the slogan “Once you've seen it, you'll never forget it.”

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This is in agreement with the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, section 6.23 (commas with appositives). –  Old Pro May 13 '13 at 5:46
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No. As a rule of thumb, you only use a comma around a quote when it follows or proceeds a verb that attributes the quote. You also use a comma simply when it keeps the sentence grammatical.

Lincoln said, "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

In this alternate phrasing, as in your example, there is no such transition:

Lincoln once said that it was "better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

Quotes aside, I'm not sure, but the way you've phrased the sentence may not be valid. Does the English language support the pattern of noun-> phrase describing that noun? You may need some kind of linking verb, in which case you would likely add a comma.

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You have a reference for this? I'd love to see this style element written down somewhere. –  tylerl May 13 '13 at 4:13
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@tylerl This was my reference: writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/quotations I tried to divine the overall driving point behind their logic because their reasoning is a bit scattered, but it seems like a thorough resource. –  Jeremy May 13 '13 at 4:16
    
Jeremy, please edit the ref into the answer instead of just in a comment –  jwpat7 May 13 '13 at 14:48
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