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Questions tagged [vocatives]

Questions relating to nouns used in direct address, such as “John, what do you think you’re doing there?” or “Someone wants to see you now, Mr. President,” or in the archaic “O ye of little faith!”

6
votes
3answers
5k views

Comma after address

Here's an example: Chocolate lovers rejoice! Chocolate lovers, rejoice! To my understanding, the first one says that chocolate lovers are rejoicing and in the second one, we are asking the ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

Is vocative comma rule vanishing?

According to some grammars[1][2] and CMS... "Interjections and vocative should be separated from the rest of the sentence by commas". The vocative case [1] is used to indicate direct address (i.e., ...
16
votes
5answers
250k views

Is it acceptable to drop the comma in “Thanks, John”? [duplicate]

I grew up learning that the comma must be placed there, but it seems like an unnecessary interruption in a phrase that isn't ever spoken that way.
7
votes
3answers
772 views

Is ‘USAers’ just an ordinary English word today?

I saw the word, ‘USAers’ in the lead copy of Reuter’s news titled ‘Gippered’ in Time magazine (September 6), which says: “More than 1/3 of USAers say they are worse off under Bam. Warning-sign ...
5
votes
2answers
47k views

“Happy Birthday sir!” or “Happy Birthday, sir!”?

Which one is grammatically correct? Happy Birthday sir! Happy Birthday, sir! And where should I put "sir" in this sentence? Congratulations for completing another trip around the sun! Also suggest ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Comma issue: noun of direct address in the middle of the sentence after conjunction

Another nitpicky comma question that I hope you will help me to resolve. How does one need to punctuate the noun of direct address (or vocative) in the middle of the sentence that goes directly after ...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

Where did we get “buster” as in “Look here, buster”?

Americans, at least, have for some time used buster in speech or dialogue as a generic form of address. It has a range of tonalities, from light to affectionate to grimly confrontational. Listen, ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

The vocative case and comma splices

I've been trying to find an answer to this question for some time, and have finally decided to... well, buck up some courage and ask. In sentences like these two "Hello, Mary, how are you?" "Don'...
4
votes
2answers
638 views

What case is used for pronouns in the vocative?

A coauthor and I are drafting a letter, and we're not yet sure whom we're going to be sending it to. So I sent a draft to my coauthor, which started Dear [whomever]: Now, that line in a letter is ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

What is the vocative expression we can use to attract the attention of someone whose name or surname we don't know?

I was reading one of my old English Language books when I came across this: "Madame, Señora, Signora, etc, are foreign vocative expressions and they have no equivalent, in either ...
-2
votes
1answer
3k views

Omitting commas in brief statements

In a brief exhortation followed by the name of a sports team, such as "Let's go, Dodgers!" or "Go, Phillies!" is it ever appropriate to omit the comma?