The purpose for style standards is to keep the same things the same so that uniquenesses will stand out in celebration.

Abbreviations incl. Sr. U.S.A. et al.

Wikipedia: List of Latin abbreviations

Here are some common Latin abbreviations, note their form.

e.g. (exempli gratia — for instance)
etc. (et cetera — and the others)
et al. (et alii — and other coworkers)
i.e. (id est — that is)
A.D. (anno Domini — in the year of our Lord)
A.M. (ante meridiem — before midday)
P.M. (post meridiem — after midday)
M.O. (modus operandi — method of operating)
M.A. (Magister Artium — Master of Arts)
Ph.D. (Philosophiae Doctor — Doctor of Philosophy)
viz. (videlicet — namely)
v. or vs. (versus — against) v. is usually legal, vs. is usually non-legal

In digital text or casual writing, the period may be omitted to save time and space, but check your style guide!

Mr. Gigglesworth
Dr. Healsome
Sr. Luis
Pres. Trump
Just make sure the abbreviations are recognizable, known, or explained somewhere in your writing.
...incl. misc. items, or someth. of the sort.

Then, there are some common abbreviations for English grammar, i.e...

adj. Adjective
adv. Adverb
comp. Adjective, comparative
supl. Adjective, superlative
art. Article
n. Noun
ger. Gerund
pret./prt. Preterite
perf./prf. Perfect
vn. Verbal noun
v. Verb
vd. Verb, ditransitive
vi. Verb, intransitive
vt. Verb, transitive

Do not use spaces between the dotted letters...

United States of America: U.S.A.

In casual writing, and arguably in digital media, you can save time and space by omitting the periods...

United States of America: USA

An abbreviation period overlaps with a period at the close of a sentence, but not a question or exclamation mark.

Do you want apples, grapes, etc.?
Yes, I want apples, grapes, etc.

Commas, , ,

There are near-countless ways to use commas. You will find that, unless you are listing three or more items, all uses of a comma have one thing in common:

Put commas around anything that can be cut out and the sentence will remain complete.

Do your own research on different ways to use commas. Just note that, except for the Serial (Oxford) Comma, all other uses of commas have excerptability. Here are a few applicable topics to explore, and remember for trivia games...

  1. Non-Restrictive (vs. Restrictive)
  2. Vocative (addressing someone)
  3. Dependent clauses (including logic)
  4. Parentheticals
  5. Beginning a sentence with a conjunction
  6. Before an adverse conjunction
  7. Before a conjunction that joins a compound sentence

Without the serial comma, "two and three" become an excerptable non-restrictive parenthetical two-part subcategory list of "one".

The Oxford Comma by Eric Edelman

The above artwork is used by permission, courtesy the artist:
"The Oxford Comma" (Rhinoceri, Washington, and Lincoln) — Eric Edelman

Also consider...

Watch my children, Alice, and the white rabbit.


Watch my children, Alice and the white rabbit.

...while the white rabbit may not be your child, Alice could be...

...unless you're a rabbit. Or, you might trust Alice and the white rabbit to watch your children. But, we'll never know with only one comma.

Use the Serial (Oxford) Comma with multiple adjectives and adverbs, even though multiple adjectives and compounding adverbs is usually just tackily tacky.

It was a great, big, ugly, glaring, and amateur mistake to use so many adjectives to cover for lack of ability to digitally, beautifully, and creatively express oneself.

Even with adjectives, the Serial Comma is important—unless you thing that "beautifully" and "creatively" are obvious forms of "digitally"; then, by all means, leave it out.

If you want to have respect, be understood and not use the Serial Comma, good luck. (See what I did there?)

...maybe this works better...

If you want to have respect, be understood, and not use the Serial Comma, good luck.

Grammarly: What Is the Oxford Comma and Why Do People Care...?
Wikipedia: Serial comma

Exception in titles:

Titles should be brief, emphatic, and uncomplex. To keep titles short, with three-item lists, I use an ampersand (&) in place of the serial comma in titles like so:

For an article about "One, Two, and Three"...

Blog post: One, Two & Three

...The key is 1. it uses ampersand (&), 2. the ampersand stands where the Serial Oxford Comma would, and 3. it is a title.

For an article about an excerptable non-restrictive parenthetical two-part subcategory list of "one", use the unmistakeable parentheses to drive the point home...

Blog post: One (Uno & Yi)

Article: If, Then Statements Require Commas

If you have an if-then statement in a sentence, then you must separate the "then" consequence with a comma before the word "then".

This seems easy to understand on the surface, but if you write a lot or talk to too many lazy writers, then you may eventually meet people who tell you otherwise.

If people tell you this rule is not important, then don't listen to them.

You don't always need to use the word "then".

If you write many sentences, it can save space just to omit the word "then" altogether, but you must still use the comma.

In some cases when we don't use "if" either, we still need to use the comma because this illustrates a flow of logic.

When we use "when" instead of "if" at times, we use the comma in the same pattern.

If we want to explain logic differently, we can also use "because" and "so".

Don't use a comma with the word "because" in the middle of a sentence.

We don't need to use a comma here because the idea flows naturally without being broken. Because we will reverse the explanation of logic at times, we must therefore use a comma to indicate where the flow was broken.

Never start a sentence with "because" without also including the logical consequence.

Because a complete sentence must stand on its own, we must include this independent clause.

The same logical idea can be written three nearly identical ways...

We use logic in sentences because that just makes sense.

Because that just makes sense, we use logic in sentences.

That just makes sense, so we use logic in sentences.

The word "so" used this way is a conjunction, which has its own rules with commas.

1. Before the conjunction within complex and compound sentences:

Always use a comma before a conjunction with complex sentences, and never after, but this is not for two-item lists, however there are other places to use conjunctions, therefore conjunctions and commas work together, and yet it takes time to learn, so don't rush yourself while you learn.

This is only for the purposes of breaking-up a sentence into smaller ideas.

Complete sentences have two other options: semicolon; and two sentences...

If the words both before and after the comma and conjunction are two separate complete sentences, you can also use a semicolon in place of the comma; yet you could also just start a new sentence using the conjunction followed by a comma as explained next...

2. After the conjunction when starting a sentence:

So, this can apply to the beginning of a sentence. But, usually this second sentence could be connected to the sentence before it. However, if you did that, the comma would appear before the conjunction. And also, do this when the conjunction functions with multiple words. So for instance, other words that introduce the sentence also proceed the comma. Yet, we don't want to do this too often. Accordingly, teachers at high school and below may forbid their students from doing this. Although considering this, that is only to help the students form other good writing habits first. And yet for your readers' sake, you still do not want to this too often.

Using the comma this way is an overlap of two rules for commas:

a. using a comma with "excerptables", such as this, (described previously) just that they appear at the beginning of a sentence and

b. using a comma when introducing a sentence, such as the "vocative" case for addressing someone as in: John, please use commas correctly.

Here is a counter-opinion article with old school thought and discussion:
Stack Exchange: English Language & Usage...

  1. Between words
  2. Between numbers

Consider full dates...

Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Friday, March 11, 2011
Sunday, December 7, 1941
Thursday, July 4, 1776

Just the same in partial dates without the year...

Wednesday, April 17
Friday, March 11

or without the day of the week...

December 7, 1941
July 4, 1776

Know the separate parts of an address, then separate with either:

  1. New line
  2. Comma

Do NOT use commas for ANY purpose other than to separate these:

[Addressee Name]
[Street Number & Name (& *Quadrent)]
[State & ZIP Code]
[Country (if international)]

*A "quadrent" (NE, NW, SE, SW) may appear in addresses in some metropolitan areas, such as Washington, DC or Grand Rapids, MI. These are optional, but help to identify the general area of an address location.

I. Address on one line (not on mailed items):
For fancy occasions or single line indecies

President Donald Trump, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500, USA

Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, 187 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, USA

II. Address on multiple lines (requred for mailed items):
No more than 5 lines!
Country name (for international mail) on new line is preferred

President Donald Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500, USA

Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
187 Monroe Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

"Double Quotes" " "

Use commas to separate narration from dialogue. Close dialogue sentences with punctuation inside the quotes.


He said, "Let's leave."


"Let's leave," he said. Then he added, "for I am weary of punctuation."

...and with narrated questions...

"So," she asked, "Where is your seat?"
...or, rephrased...
"So, where is your seat?" she asked.

Use the narrator's punctuation outside of quoted dialogue punctuation.

...if the narrator asks about a statement...

Should I have said, "Stop it."?

...or if the narrator comments about a question...

I didn't want to ask the question, "What do you think you're doing?".

It is worth noting that simple statements do not need quotes for reported speech if they are 1. commonly known and 2. imply an idea that likely includes simple or more elaborate speech, such as:

He said no.
I hope they say yes.
Remember to say thank you.
She said bye.
I hate saying goodbye.
Did you just say hello?
We should say hi.

These should be limited to the verb say with: yes, no, hi, bye, hello, goodbye, good day, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, good night, thank you, et cetera.