I have recently had multiple people, all of whom have back grounds in writing and ought to know the rules of punctuation, try to convince me that there should be a comma between a second coordinate adjective and the noun it modifies in a sentence. So instead of "It was a giant, ugly vase." they claim it would be correct to write "It was a giant, ugly, vase." This drives me nuts and I'm convinced it's incorrect. Is this EVER the correct way to write a sentence?

  • 1
    "This drives me nuts and I'm convinced it's incorrect." Maintain the rage! It's ridiculous to have a comma before the noun. People overthink this stuff. It would be awful to have to read commas like that.
    – ralph.m
    Apr 20 '20 at 23:48

As a matter of fact, this combination is found commonly in the literature and can be examined (ref.). Of course, the result is valid for all adjectives and it is as you say: there should not ever be a comma after the last ajective. However, the comma between the coordinate adjectives is sometimes not used. Out of 50 cases or so not a single one showed a comma after the last adjective.

A few examples

  • Boy looked at the giant, ugly, violent man.
  • you evil, giant, ugly mutant Tyrannosaurus Rex!”
  • like a giant ugly metal rock.
  • But no, it looked like a giant, ugly, flying slug.
  • You can't have some giant ugly freak standing behind me, you know?
  • most probably indeed, into some giant, ugly, hungry insect.
  • ... dinosaurs, and how the giant ugly nameless horrors are just sitting around on their tentacles,
  • Yes, I have seen people omit the comma before. But never add one before the noun! So I was really confused at having two separate people tell me there should be a comma there... Apr 20 '20 at 21:51

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