In a brief exhortation followed by the name of a sports team, such as "Let's go, Dodgers!" or "Go, Phillies!" is it ever appropriate to omit the comma?

  • 6
    The old joke is: "Let's eat grandpa!" This seems like a fairly analogous lesson against dropping the comma, but maybe there are some sport-team exceptions that I forgot about :) – rschwieb Sep 25 '13 at 16:34
  • Read those expressions with and without commas and see for yourself. You'll find rschwieb's comment helpful, too. – Kris Sep 28 '13 at 14:27
  • "Let's go Wild!" – MetaEd Oct 1 '13 at 4:52

In English, the vocative case is designated by separating the vocative noun with a comma. For example:

"I don't know, John."

"Out of the way, peasants!"

"Jacob, will you get that for me?"

Because the exhortation Let's go, Dodgers! is using the vocative case, a comma is necessary.

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  • 1
    In the asker’s second example, however, “Phillies” is not really a vocative (at least it does not have to be). The formula “Go noun phrase” is most commonly used without a comma. In this construction, the noun phrase can be one that cannot semantically have a vocative form (such as phrases with third-person deixis), and it never has vocative unstressing: “Go that guy with the beard bottom left!” or “Go me!”. This is obviously an extension and formulaification (?) of an original imperative + vocative construction, but it’s been extended quite a bit. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Oct 14 '13 at 21:24

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