“I’m Sorry<,>” by Brenda Lee

parsnips

Banned
Spanish - English
I loved the song “I’m Sorry,” by Brenda Lee.
“I’m Sorry,” by Brenda Lee, was my favorite.

Comma needed after title?

Thanks.
 
  • parsnips

    Banned
    Spanish - English
    My favorite grammar reference book is The Gregg Reference Manual, by William A. Sabin.

    The Gregg Reference Manual, by William A. Sabin, is my favorite grammar reference book.

    Comma(s) needed in those?

    Thanks
     
    Last edited:

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    My favorite grammar reference book is The Gregg Reference Manual, by William A. Sabin.

    The Gregg Reference Manual, by William A. Sabin, is my favorite grammar reference book.

    Comma(s) needed in those?

    Thanks
    Without the commas, "by William A. Sabin" is identifying (as if it is part of the name). I'm talking about by William A. Sabin, not The Gregg Reference Manual by Joseph E Smith.
    With the commas, "by William A. Sabin" is non-identifying (it is extra, unimportant information which could be left out).
    If there no need to identify the book, there's very little difference. If there are versions of The Gregg Reference Manual by different authors, the difference is quite important.
     

    parsnips

    Banned
    Spanish - English
    You said: “If there are versions of The Gregg Reference Manual by different authors, the difference is quite important.”

    So, hypothetically, if there were more than one author of that same manual titled The Gregg Reference Manual (two separate versions by two different authors), then we’d leave out the commas like this below, right?

    My favorite grammar reference book is The Gregg Reference Manual by William A. Sabin.

    My favorite grammar reference book is The Gregg Reference Manual by Joseph E. Smith.

    Thanks
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    I loved the song “I’m Sorry,” by Brenda Lee.
    “I’m Sorry,” by Brenda Lee, was my favorite.
    In the second sentence, the phrase "by Brenda Lee" is clearly a parenthetic insertion, hence the two commas. That makes it non-identifying, just adding extra information. You could not omit one comma without also omitting the other.
    If the first sentence means the same as the second (by which I mean if the intention is also for it to be non-identifying), then the comma should remain.

    I must say that these look weird because the comma is inside the quote marks. It makes it look as though the comma is part of the title. Personally, I would put the comma after the closing quote. If that is incompatible with your house style, I would recommend putting the title in italics instead of enclosing it in quotes: I loved the song I’m Sorry, by Brenda Lee.
    You can avoid agonizing over whether to use commas by changing the order: I loved Brenda Lee's song I'm Sorry. Mind you, some might still want to put a comma after "song". But it's clearly identifying here, I think. You are saying which of her songs you loved.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top