The Grammarphobia Blog

Hey, whaddaya say?

Q: If you were to ask a person named David Jay what he had to say, how would it be printed? 1) “Whaddaya say David Jay?” 2) “Whaddaya say, David Jay?” 3) “Whaddaya say? David Jay.”

A: The answer: 2) “Whaddaya say, David Jay?”

We generally use commas before and after the name of somebody we’re talking to (“Hey, David Jay, whaddaya say?”).

But the first comma is dropped if the name comes at the beginning of a sentence (“David Jay, whaddaya say?”) and the second one is dropped if the name comes at the end of a sentence (“Whaddaya say, David Jay?).

Also, you can skip the first comma if all that precedes the name is “and” or “but” (And David Jay, whaddaya say?).

For more about punctuation, check out the “Comma Sutra” chapter in my grammar book Woe Is I.

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