Q. Hello! I have a comma question. Which is the preferred punctuation: Amherst, Massachusetts’ Emily Dickinson . . . OR Amherst, Massachusetts’, Emily Dickinson . . . ? Recasting the sentence is not a useful option because there is a longish list of names and places: Long Branch, New Jersey’s Bruce Springsteen and Lachine, Quebec’s Saul Bellow and . . . Thanks.

Q. Is it correct to use commas before and after “myself,” “himself,” “herself,” “itself,” etc. in cases like “I, myself, wouldn’t wear that dress”?

Q. Why does a comma follow Washington, DC, in running text?

Q. I’m not sure when to use a comma following a date at the beginning of a sentence. Can you help? For example, “In the 1960s, McManus declared victory . . .” or “In 1967, McManus selected Jones as the victor . . .” A fellow editor suggests striking all of the commas that follow the dates. 

Q. Is the serial/Oxford comma generally used in British English? If the guidelines do not specify anything, what would be the appropriate usage?

Q. It’s my observation that increasingly, in a sentence like this, the commas are being omitted, no matter how many sisters there are: “I wanted to go to the store, but my sister Sara refused.” Can’t we just admit that it’s cleaner and easier to omit them most of the time, unless there’s genuinely a clarity issue? The world is changing; can we make this official? Thank you.

Q. In the following sentence, is a comma necessary after the word “was”? Her reply was “No, but I’ll think about it.”

Q. I belong to an editing group. In these two sentences, we believe the commas belong. Is there a name/description for this or a rule you can direct us to? “It’s what makes a barn, a barn.” “Whatever will be, will be.” That comma.

Q. Help! Here’s the problematic sentence:

Her efforts, along with the generosity of the Hearts and Art Ball Host Committee, Live Auction cochairs Joe Smith and Jane Smith, the Friends of the Museum, and our beloved patrons, have made this signature event possible.

I’m being told by a higher-up to remove the comma before “along with” and the comma after “patrons” because, in her words, “along is a preposition.” I think the commas (or better perhaps, em dashes) need to be there, but I can’t explain why. Can you give me a leg to stand on? Rewriting is not an option.

Q. When you start a sentence with so should it be followed by a comma? Example: So, let’s write one.