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Joe said, "You're awesome."

"Why thank you," Mel replied.

Should there be a comma after "Why"?

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1 Answer 1

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"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, 2016 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.) Nov 6, 2016 at 2:24

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