There are a lot of comma rules to remember, and I can cover a few more of them in another post. But here's the biggest one to keep in mind (and one that has been driving me nuts at work lately): Always set off a person's name with a comma.
The T-shirt above shows a funny example of how sentence meanings change when you leave out a comma. Obviously, people will usually understand what you're saying without the comma -- but why leave it to chance? Also, statistics show that people who use commas correctly seem 95 percent smarter on Facebook. :)
Here are some examples of setting off names with a comma:
- Thanks for the birthday gift, Lindsay!
- Hi, John!
- Charlie, did you eat dinner yet?
- My husband, Andrew, is great at fixing cars. (Note: Without the comma, you suggest that you're a bigamist.)
One caveat: Be careful when using a comma to set off the word friend because you can inadvertently suggest that you only have one friend -- and who only has one friend? No one. So, the phrase My friend Kristen has a hedgehog is actually correct since I have multiple friends (or at least I hope I do).
Do you have any comma questions? I'd love to hear them! Also, I am obviously a big grammar nerd because I still think the T-shirt above is so funny.