The passage below is part of what I transcribed, listening to a radio program. The blank below is where I got stuck.
Which, #1 or #2 below, do you think is appropriate, when written down, for the blank?
1. R & B male group “The Stylistics”
2. R & B male group, “The Stylistics”
( ) were formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1966 as a result of two groups, “The Percussions” and “The Monarchs, merging together.I chose #1, but I’m not sure if it is correct.
In Standard American English, it would be correct to say:
The R & B male group “The Stylistics” was formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1966 as a result of two groups, “The Percussions” and “The Monarchs" merging together.
First of all, the subject of the sentence is "the R & male group,
" which in Standard American English is singular. Therefore, the verb should be "was formed
" and not "were formed
." However, I believe in British English, such a collective noun is plural and requires the plural "were formed
The phrase "The Stylistics
" is a restrictive modifier that describes which R & B male group we are talking about. We do not set off restrictive modifiers with commas. We do set of nonrestrictive modifiers with commas. You can read about restrictive and nonrestrictive modifiers and commas by clicking here
or by clicking here
and following the links.
Consider the following sentences:
My wife, Margaret, is a beautiful woman.
My wife Margaret is a beautiful woman.
These two sentences do not mean the same thing.
The first sentence just states that my wife is a beautiful woman, and the modifier "Margaret
" simply states that is what my wife's name is. Thus it is a nonrestrictive modifier and must be set off by commas.
In the second sentence, the word "Margaret
" specifies which one of my wives I am referring to. It implies I have more than one wife. That makes "Margaret
" a restrictive modifier, and so it should not be set off by commas. Moreover, if I were to write that sentence down in a letter to a male friend and my Margaret saw it, she might refuse to get my supper or kiss me goodnight, as she does not believe in polygamy and is unwilling to share. But then, she happens to be a retired English teacher.
Also note that in Standard American English, the comma, if used, comes before the close-quotes punctuation mark and in British English, it follows the close-quotes punctuation mark. The same is true of the period used with quotation marks in Standard American English, although the rules for question marks and exclamation points are a bit more complicated.