Comma between "Thank you" and the name of the person

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  • man of letters

    Member
    Russian - Lithuania
    Then why isn't there a comma between a salutation and the name of the person being addressed, i.e. "Hello, Paul". Do you think it originally existed in the English language but disappeared in the age of electronic communication? Or at some earlier point in time? Or did it not ever exist?
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Then why isn't there a comma between a salutation and the name of the person being addressed, i.e. "Hello, Paul". Do you think it originally existed in the English language but disappeared in the age of electronic communication? Or at some earlier point in time? Or did it not ever exist?
    I don't understand this. Rover is approving of the version with the comma, and so do I.

    Contributors to this thread do as well: Comma with direct address: Thank you, Sam and May, for....
     

    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    "Paul" in these sentences is a vocative; that is, the name of the person being addressed.
    Traditionally vocatives are set off from the rest of the sentence by one or two commas.
    "Paul, what's the matter?"
    "What's the matter, Paul?
    "What's the matter, Paul, are you tired?"
    You may sometimes find it missing in informal communications, but technically it should be there.
    (I myself may have occasionally written something like "Thank you Paul!" for emphasis, to mean "I'm glad someone had the courage to do that!")
     
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