I'm doing some copy editing for a website, and I'm wondering whether there should be a comma in this sentence:

"Join the waitlist and be the first to know."

My grammar sense makes me think it should be "Join the waitlist, and be the first to know." That said, since the clauses are so short and the subject is the same in both, I'm wondering if it's really necessary.

A little friendly feedback would be greatly appreciated!

  • 1
    Friendly feedback? Are you in the wrong place! Since punctuation is a matter of style and not grammar, your grammar sense shouldn't be tingling. By the way, grammar sense: worst. superpower. ever. – deadrat Feb 21 '17 at 7:22
  • The comma is optional. "Waitlist" doesn't sound right. Do you mean "subscribe"? – aparente001 Feb 21 '17 at 7:39
  • Grammar comprises syntax and morphology. It has little to do with writing. Only the real, the spoken language counts for matters grammatical. Orthography is never grammar. – tchrist Feb 21 '17 at 15:16

Being a short one, sentence like "Join the waitlist and be the first to know" is quite common and acceptable as it is.

From Practical English Usage by Michael Swan:

"Clauses connected with and, but or or are separated by commas unless they are very short. Compare:

Jane decided to try the home-made steak pie, and Andrew ordered Dover sole with boiled potatoes.

Jane had pie and Andrew had fish.

She had very little to live on, but she would never have dreamed of taking what was not hers.

She was poor but she was honest."

  • Jane had pie and Andrew fish. Jane had pie and Andrew fished. Jane had pie and Andrew for dessert. – tchrist Feb 21 '17 at 15:23

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