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Consider:

During this time of self-reflection, King was introduced to the teachings of a man who fought on the other side of the world, Gandhi.

Is it legal to include a comma between "world" and Gandhi". I know that a colon is much better, but I want to know if a comma is also perfectly legal. And if it is, may I ask why?

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    As far as I know, there are no laws against using comma's - but I'm not a lawyer, and in your country there may be such laws - who knows. As far as English is concerned, to me that comma seems just fine. – oerkelens Dec 21 '17 at 9:05
  • Thank you. What if I included a prepositional phrase and non-restrictive clause (two commas) after the world ", for the rights of the oppressed,"? During this time of self-reflection, King was introduced to the teachings of a man who fought on the other side of the world, for the rights of the oppressed, Gandhi? – HeyDoeFarm Dec 21 '17 at 9:20
  • I still see no problems, except the sentence is starting to get a bit long :) – oerkelens Dec 21 '17 at 11:38
  • @oerkelens Does having a comma before Gandhi make the word "Gandhi" a non-restrictive clause? – HeyDoeFarm Jan 5 '18 at 2:38
  • I'm still of the opinion that the comma after "world" should be a colon. During this time of self-reflection, King was introduced to the teachings of a man who fought on the other side of the world, Gandhi. – HeyDoeFarm Feb 14 '18 at 0:37
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Personally, I'd prefer a colon in the example given, but I have no issue with the comma either. Both work in my eyes; it's just a stylistic thing mainly.

  • It would probably also be better to give him his full name, but that's nothing to do with the legitimacy of the comma – Will Crawford Dec 21 '17 at 9:21

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