If I say, "IwilldocardiologyHoney........Will I get richer today?

By default, since there is no increased pause between cardiology and Honey, must the words "I will do cardiology" automatically become addressed to Honey, even if this was not my intent?

Or can it be the case that I was saying to myself "I will do Cardiology" then without pausing said "Honey" out loud to to get her attention so that she will listen to whatever I say after saying her name, Honey. This was my original intention however, I am not sure if this interpretation would be possible to discern.

Basically I want confirmation or reassurance that if you say something out loud and then say someone's name, you are not automatically addressing those preceding words to that person unless that was your original intent. However, I am not sure if this reasoning is true or not.

  • 1
    You might consider using ellipsis (...) OR a dash between the two separate utterances (one ending with "cardiology", the other starting with "Honey"). I doubt there's a standard way to succinctly punctuate two consecutive utterances like this in such a way as to make it obvious they're addressed to different audiences. But you could expand the "gap" with other text, such as "I will do cardiology", I said to myself... Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 17:16
  • Your ellipsis (three dots is usual across the board) signals a major pause, the major pause here. It would be rare to leave no pause in speech, even with a 'eureka' moment. The ellipsis offsets the two parts of the dialogue (perhaps having, as you suggest, different addressees). 'Honey' will be on the side to which the vocative attaches. Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 17:22
  • You can't discuss pronunciation usefully in English spelling, especially not if you're trying to discuss intonation and speech rhythm. Consult a phonetician. Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 17:58
  • The only way I can see getting out of addressing someone is to break the name into another sentence: I'm hungry. Honey? Commented Dec 16, 2020 at 15:52

2 Answers 2


It depends to a great extent on the pronunciation of the word "Honey" (or whatever noun or term of address that is used after). If you pronounce it with great force, very loud, then it is going to be decoded as a signal of more or less great urgency and the words that precede will be entirely forgotten. If you use a certain pronunciation then the signal might unmistakably be that the words have been intended for them. Another possibility is that the pronunciation is not that usual for an address but rather, as a last second option, that usual for soliciting attention, as it was suddenly felt that no one was listening; again, the word "Honey" is going to be decoded as such.


"I will do cardiology Honey........Will I get richer today?

Simply punctuate so as to separate the two thoughts into separate sentences.

"I will do cardiology. Honey, will I get richer today?"

Some authors, e.g. Robert Jordan follow the convention of using italics to separate thought or self-talk from speech directed toward others, e.g.

I will do cardiology. "Honey, will I get richer today?"

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