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Is it acceptable in BrE to omit the commas (as I've done below) after 2006, 1946, France, Texas and New York? To me, commas after each serve no purpose: they reduce the flow of the sentence.

• The performance took place on February 2, 2006 at the State Theatre in Ithaca.

• January 23, 1946 is Helen's date of birth.

• Prague, Czechoslovakia is a great vacation spot.

• Paris, France will host the Olympics.

• Dallas, Texas is the home of this special event.

• Syracuse, NY will play host to this year's Rock of Ages music festival.

  • All of the commas you mention (except the first) separate the subject from the verb. The first could have a comma, but it doesn't need one. – Andrew Leach Feb 25 '14 at 14:52
  • @AndrewLeach None of these commas separate subjects from verbs... unless you're telling me that 1946, Czechoslovakia, France, Texas, and NY are verbs? – TylerH Feb 25 '14 at 14:55
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    @TylerH The commas after 2006, 1946, France, Texas and NY have already been removed. – Andrew Leach Feb 25 '14 at 14:57
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    For somebody who is used to seeing a comma after France in Paris, France, your revised versions interrupt the flow much more than the original versions. – Peter Shor Jun 29 '14 at 19:54
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    @Peter: Curiously, I'm more used to Paris, Texas (presumably because if no state/country is specified, we Europeans automatically assume the French capital). But I agree your basic point - because we expect a comma if the "base" identifier is further qualified, it's disruptive to not see it (or at least a preposition such as in). – FumbleFingers Jun 29 '14 at 20:05
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The commas have a role, to set off the state name or the year because either of them is clarifying and defining the city or date. In a sense, they are in apposition to the bit that comes before. In "Prague, Czechoslovakia is a great vacation spot," the single comma isolates the subject Prague from the verb is. Your other examples, with the exception of the first one, have similar problems.

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Most of your example sentences wouldn't use a comma in the positions you noted. If we replace the complicated phrase with a simple variant:

  1. The performance took place on Tuesday at the State Theatre in Ithaca.

  2. Tomorrow is Helen's date of birth.

  3. Prague is a great vacation spot.

  4. Paris will host the Olympics.

  5. Dallas is the home of this special event.

  6. Syracuse will play host to this year's Rock of Ages music festival.

Examples 2-6 should not have commas. Example 1 could have a comma where you noted:

The performance took place on Tuesday, at the State Theatre in Ithaca.

But this usage is optional and can be removed if you find it interrupting the flow of the sentence.

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