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When listing names by just a last name, which is correct:

  • Surname, Jr.
  • Surname Jr.

I'd like to know if the comma is required in this context or not.

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closed as general reference by J.R., cornbread ninja 麵包忍者, MετάEd, FumbleFingers, kiamlaluno Sep 3 '12 at 23:52

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

It depends on the style manual you're forced to use. Otherwise, there are no unequivocal punctuation, spelling, or grammatical rules in English. It's a free-for-all language spoken and written by millions of native speakers who are sure that their idiolects are perfectly standard, idiomatic, and acceptable to all other native speakers. Write like you speak is only half the story. The other half is Edit what you write for clarity and brevity. Most writers forget the 2nd half. Commas are unpopular today. Name, Jr. is traditional. Name Jr. is the new normal. – user21497 Aug 30 '12 at 1:05
-1 Please show research results. Close Not Constructive: answers will be a matter of opinion. – MετάEd Sep 2 '12 at 6:51
@ΜετάEd what search results? – CyberSkull Sep 2 '12 at 9:33
Research results, meaning what references you consulted before asking here, what they said, etc. See the faq and the article it links to about asking a good question. – MετάEd Sep 2 '12 at 12:52
@ΜετάEd I wouldn't know where to search for this particular question, that is why I asked here at English Language & Usage. – CyberSkull Sep 2 '12 at 21:49
up vote 4 down vote accepted

This is a bit of a general reference question, but I'll go ahead an answer it here, because the "right" answer seems to be in a state of flux. From Chicago Manual of Style Online:

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EDIT: If you are only listing by last name, I think you would omit the suffix altogether. After all, John Smith, Sr., and John Smith, Jr., and John Smith III all have the same last name: Smith. John David Jones, the son of John Daniel Jones, is not John Jones, Jr., so both of them would be listed as Jones; I think the Smiths would be listed the same way, although I don't have an authoritative reference to base that on.

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It's the same in The Associated Press Stylebook (AP style). – JLG Aug 30 '12 at 1:37

Your question make no sense. If there are 3 people to be listed then you are proposing:

  • John Doe Jr would be listed as Doe Jr.
  • Jim Doe would be listed as Doe
  • Jason Doe Sr. would be Doe Sr.
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In the situation we are working in, we don't care about the first name at all. – CyberSkull Aug 30 '12 at 6:13
@CyberSkull: Any reason why you didn't offer that particular nugget of information in your original question? – J.R. Aug 30 '12 at 8:39
@J.R. I said "just a last name". – CyberSkull Aug 30 '12 at 16:28
@CyberSkull: Ah! So you did! Mea culpa. I think that highlighting the question as you did in your edit might help. Thanks for clarifying. – J.R. Aug 30 '12 at 16:38

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