I believe I have the proper usage of commas with "or" for this case, but I cannot find anything on the WWW (and this site) to confirm it. If I knew what it was called, I'm sure my search would be more fruitful.

Original sentence... If you do not want to participate, you may "opt out" or exclude yourself online...

I suggest the words "or exclude yourself" should be set apart with commas before and after, because in this case, it is a description or alternative word clarifying the meaning of "opt out". It is not a second option, like you can stay or go.

Suggested correction... If you do not want to participate, you may "opt out", or exclude yourself, online...

Is my suggestion correct? What is this usage called? Any links to supporting style guides and such are appreciated, although once I know what this is called, my search will likely be easier. (Please don't respond if you are unsure and just "think" this is how it should be. I'm looking for an answer from an expert with the proper knowledge or supporting evidence.) Thank you!!


No. It's incorrect.

Also, "or" is called a "coordinating conjunction." Try a web search on that term. (Ref: Little Brown Handbook, 11th. Ed. Pg. 257, Pearson Education, Inc, 2010)

Try Purdue University Online Writing Lab "Coordinating Conjunctions/Extended use for commas" https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/punctuation/commas/extended_rules_for_commas.html

Hope this helps.

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