Joe said, "You're awesome."

"Why thank you," Mel replied.

Should there be a comma after "Why"?


"Why" works here as an interjection to express mild surprise. When interjections are at the start of a sentence, they can be followed by a comma or an exclamation mark.

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    Conversely, if that punctuation is omitted it would read like a single clause of "why thank you" which could be interpreted as "why should I thank you?". – Jon Hanna Nov 5 '16 at 17:45
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    They can be. But should they? (I think yes. Your answer doesn't take a stand, as far as I can tell.) – aparente001 Nov 6 '16 at 2:24

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