Comma Too? You?

Whenever I have a grammar or punctuation question, my first stop in the search is a visit to Grammar Girl.

Her answers always make sense, and when I’m still confused, she responds to messages on Twitter. How I love a true grammarista!

Yesterday I sent a question regarding what seemed to be a new push toward removing the comma from before the word “too”. My writer friends and I have been up in arms over the change.

Her response was that she didn’t get the impression it was a recent thing, but guided me to her post on the subject for some clarification.

Sometimes in grammar and punctuation, issues come up that can be discussed. In professional editing, when questionable changes are made, the best editors are able to justify their choices, making the act of editing much like writing; creative within boundaries of proper form.

It has been much to my dismay, since my continuous testing failures at CloudCrowd, that 3.16 of their style guide says this:

“Do not use comma before the words “too”, “also”, “as well” and any similar terms.”

Such a definitive rule with no grey areas for discussion. No wonder I failed.

Grammar Girl’s post in regard to “comma too” gives a writer the freedom to decide for themselves whether or not the comma should to be used.

Apparently, many children’s book-publishers agree with Grammar Girl and not with CloudCrowd. In four recently published children’s books (checked out this week at our local library), the comma is being used freely in front of “too” restoring my faith in publishers everywhere.

I like commas an awful lot (it borders on an addiction), so I appreciate the freedom to decide if and when they should be used (in this case, specifically).

How about you? You, too?


Are you with Grammar Girl and me, or do you take the side of CloudCrowd?

An example of the comma being used in front of the "too". This came fromt eh adorable book Crafty Chloe by
An example of my point from the adorable book Crafty Chloe by Kelli DiPucchio and illustrated by Heather Ross. Moms … go and find this book. It’s sweet and crafty! We love it!

10 thoughts on “Comma Too? You?

  1. I love commas and am sad to see certain ones dying out. I think grammar changes because of how it’s used, and social media has played a big role in the demise of the more traditional grammar rules. Just because a lot of people don’t realize you need a comma before the “and” and an accompanying independent clause, does that mean we should all stop using them? No. Definitely not. (ie. Jane went to the park, and she saw an elephant.)

    I still use a comma before the word “too,” and I’ll continue to do so until I hear a strong argument against it. Traditional publishing will probably continue to use it (like in children’s books) because it’s, well, traditional. ; )

    1. I just discussed your example of Jane and the elephant with my mother yesterday! She’s obviously older, but didn’t seem to remember that rule.

      The bottom line is that I am a traditionalist (in many ways), but you are correct when you say that social media has a lot to do with traditional grammar’s demise. Sad to see it go, but I will hang on. A girl’s got to have her principles. 🙂

  2. I have to say that I’m on the side of CloudCrowd. While I love the comma, I don’t use it before “too” or “as well” or similar words. My husband and I differ on comma use all the time. I always tell him he’s wrong since English isn’t his first language. Ha!

    1. So funny! I think I’m a traditionalist in a lot of ways and have trouble with new changes! I need to chill out and maybe switch up my “comma too” usage. Livin on the edge, huh!

  3. I’m glad you brought this to my attention, because I wasn’t aware it was a thing of the past. My novel has several commas before the word ‘too,’ and my editor never took them out, so I assume it is still acceptable. However, this explains why I see so many blog posts where it’s omitted in this situation. I just thought they forgot. 🙂

    1. Personal choice, I guess. I’d still like to have a talk with the folks who are changing up these old school rules. 🙂

  4. I use a comma before an independent clause – Jane and the elephant example – but never before too…to be honest I’m rubbish at remembering rules – I just read it and decide where ‘taking a breath’ would work! Should you use a comma before ‘but’?

    1. I always use a comma before but, because I feel like it’s a pause. I have seen it not used before, too. Can’t grammar be such a pain?!

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