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Related to youtube/5ycx9hFGHog, I'd like to know whether it is correct or incorrect to put a comma between "server" and "please", when writing about an act of calling one's server, whether the "please" part is even appropriate, and what sort of punctuation is expected in the end when describing an act of calling for a server (should one use an exclamation or even a question mark?).

I've tried to Google for "server, please!", but all results I get don't seem to be related to an act of calling for a server (prompted by "waiter" vs "server", I've then tried "waiter, please", too, but it wasn't all that much better, especially due to the words apparently being some sort of a brand for some app and/or service).

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  • Context is required for a question like this, and you have none. I can't believe I watched that whole video and NOT ONCE did anyone say "server" and then "please." At 0:55, Bill Gates says, "There's the server. Server?!" Then at at 1:23, the other guy holds up his finger and says, "Server?!" Neither one of them ever say "please." You're asking a question about the appropriateness of something that was never actually said, so it's moot.
    – user184292
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 21:12
  • @BenjaminHarman, yes, I realised that only after re-watching the video; also, I'm very sorry if you didn't enjoy this classic.
    – cnst
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 21:50
  • The video is, of course, built around a triple pun on three of the meanings of the word "server" and the third meaning (a person who serves drinks or food) is actually not as common as "waiter, barista, etc so the pun is pretty forced anyway.
    – BoldBen
    Commented Jul 5, 2022 at 5:44

1 Answer 1

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Your 'server' is a noun of 'direct address'. Like an interjection (or adverbial phrase), it's placement in a sentence is variable, but it should always be set off by comma[s]. 'Please' is also an interjection, but that is obvious enough that a comma isn't always needed. Here are samples of their mobility: "Waiter, please[,] bring me the check." = "Bring me, waiter, the check, please."

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  • If in doubt, you can consider where the pauses are when speaking. There is often a pause between "waiter" and "please", as with any other form of address - and it's certainly not wrong to pause. In "please bring me the check" there may not be a pause after "please"; in "bring me the check, please" I'd be more likely to put a pause before "please".
    – Stuart F
    Commented Mar 2, 2023 at 9:22

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