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A quick survey of the internet reveals many instances of "home sweet home", no punctuation. But doesn't "home, sweet home" make the most sense?

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Yes, it makes the most sense. But, for one reason or another, the written version doesn't tend to bother with any punctuation at all. The closest thing I can find to a definitive answer comes from the apparent source of this phrase. I don't know for certain, but I think it is extremely likely that this common phrase came from the song of the same name. As you can see in the link, the punctuation in the song's title is either "Home! Sweet home!" or "Home, sweet home". So, the way you want to parse the phrase at least agrees with the creator's intent.

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When writing the line in fictional dialogue, would you recommend omitting the comma to match standard use? –  andyvn22 Aug 23 '10 at 4:44
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If you are have a line like: and hanging on the wall was a little sign that said "HOME SWEET HOME", then yes, I would leave out the comma. But if it is actually being said: Mary cried out, "Home! Sweet home!" then I would include the punctuation as you deem appropriate. –  Kosmonaut Aug 23 '10 at 11:11
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People tend to punctuate an expression to match their pronunciation. I've heard this one spoken with and without a 'verbal comma.' I've never heard anyone truly exclaim this, though.

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The New Oxford American Dictionary reports home sweet home. You would say home, sweet home if you would put the accent on home.

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