I've received an email from a colleague who is leaving the company — and it's titled "comma separated" along with the usual yadda-yadda.

This is the first time I've come across this usage of the term — is it standard?

Actual quote:

It is never easy to say goodbye, but comma separated it is.

  • 2
    Is it possible to quote its actual use in the email? – Callithumpian Mar 25 '11 at 12:52
  • It's not standard, but it sounds like an awesome usage to implement. I long to see my wife, but for now... we're comma separated. – JCooper Mar 25 '11 at 15:51

No. Only if it is some kind of internal joke at your company. "Comma separated values" (CSV) is a file format.

The comma-separated values file format is a set of file formats used to store tabular data in which numbers and text are stored in plain textual form that can be read in a text editor.


  • yup i'm aware of CSV, and cannot see this reference anywhere on the net either. Thanks. – shinynewbike Mar 25 '11 at 10:42
  • He dictated it? Speech recognition? – peterG May 31 '14 at 22:23

Perhaps this was an attempt at a clever word play. He is separating himself from the company and used the word 'comma' either because of the frequency it appears with 'separated', or your colleague may have also intended 'comma' to be interpreted by one of its other meanings. Particularly, it may have been intended to mean 'a short pause' between two important objects--especially if your colleague was there for only a short period of time.

I suspect that it's probably the former, though, that he was announcing his separating from the company and threw in the 'comma' just because of its familiarity with 'separated'.

protected by tchrist Mar 27 '13 at 16:40

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