How would you punctuate this phrase?

me personally or my friend

Would you put commas around personally?

closed as unclear what you're asking by aedia λ, choster, RyeɃreḁd, FumbleFingers, Brian Hooper Feb 12 '14 at 20:13

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  • 1
    There's not enough of it to understand the structures involved. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 11 '14 at 22:24
  • I agree, one would punctuate different sentences containing that phrase differently, there isn't enough here to judge it. – Jon Hanna Feb 11 '14 at 23:13
  • A third vote. Context is really important for how you would punctuate it. – David M Feb 11 '14 at 23:28

Commas are subjective, and the only "hard" rule about them is use them if they improve the clarity of your sentence. A second "less hard" rule is, if you pause when speaking the phrases, there should be some kind of punctuation there, and a comma might fit the bill.

I think no one will misunderstand

You can give it to me personally or my friend.

If it is of great importance to you to follow some established guidelines because you value someone's opinion of your level of familiarity with punctuation (for that is often what rules regarding comma usage really excel at), you can write

You can give it to me, personally, or my friend.

Or you can simply google "writing stylebook" and pick one appropriate to your country (US, Great Britain, other), and read about comma usage recommended therein. If you are writing to someone for whom you hope to work, you can find out if they use a particular stylebook and use that one. For example, if I were interviewing at Harvard, I would see what stylebooks Harvard prefers (I believe they have their own); if I were interviewing at Google, I would look at Google's stylebook; if I were looking to work at the NIH... you get the picture.

I can tell you this much: I have been here at EL&U for a while, and not once has anyone corrected me for misuse or absence of a comma, not because I use them perfectly, but because there are no rules written in stone, and people are fairly tolerant of differing usages.

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