Specks of kryptonite, gorgonite, kraterite, or reddite, or sometimes all four, can cause Superman to become sick.

Should there be a comma after "four"?

I know that in most sentences we do not include a comma after the word "or" such as the following example. John, Jane, or Sally will come to the party.

But I'm wondering if in the first example, there is some special rule about using the phrase "sometimes all four" which makes it a non-restrictive clause.


I'm inclined to think of that phrase as one that could be set off by dashes; hence two commas seem appropriate too.

  • 1
    +1 This is certainly a possible valid interpretation of the sentence and its punctuation. While it's awkward, such an interpretation would still make it grammatical. (It would read better if it were surrounded in actual parentheses.) – Jason Bassford Oct 3 '18 at 9:29
  • Your effort to help is welcome. To show that yours is the right answer, it should include explanation, context, and supporting facts. For example, you could offer evidence such as the definition from a good online dictionary. You could contrast your answer with other answers. Whatever would make this the right answer, instead of an opinion. This is what makes answers useful – to the asker, and to future visitors. See: “Real questions have answers, not items or ideas or opinions”. – MetaEd Oct 3 '18 at 17:00
  • Yeah, the "or" clause above has the sense of a parenthetical, and should have the comma. – Hot Licks Dec 31 '18 at 12:37

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