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I advise a friend on her writing, despite not quite knowing an adverb from a proverb (kidding (kinda)).

Invariably, parenthetical commas such as the following:

Jane, my assistant, opened the door.

are written as:

Jane, my assistant opened the door.

Is there some foreign grammar she is drawing from, where this is common? Australian English or British English perhaps?

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Just as a side note, this is called an appositive, or an apposition –  AndyPerfect Jun 18 '12 at 16:47
    
@AndyPerfect, thanks! It isn't the root of the problem (two commas, or none, but not one), but explains when it might be correct to use no commas :english.stackexchange.com/q/28965/6297 –  Bobbi Bennett Jun 18 '12 at 17:01
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It's not something that's common in British English. –  DavidR Jun 19 '12 at 9:33
    
@DavidR, thanks. That is what I was asking. –  Bobbi Bennett Jun 19 '12 at 14:55
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1 Answer

From Larry Trask's 'Guide to Punctuation':

The rule is this: a pair of bracketing commas is used to mark off a weak interruption of the sentence — that is, an interruption which does not disturb the smooth flow of the sentence.

That's what's required here: a pair of commas, not just one. This is not a matter of grammar, but of typographic convention.

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protected by RegDwigнt Jun 23 '12 at 14:03

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