Follow grammar rules when ambiguity could occur without them, or in technical cases (see example below).
- This interview is taking place at the Floether’s home in Portobello, Edinburgh, Scotland.
- Please use the serial comma: this, that, and the other.
But... do NOT follow grammar rules or conventions when doing so would interrupt the cadence of the speaker.
- Yes indeed.
- It was an Anglican school or Episcopalian as we say here.
Use commas to indicate speech patterns and pauses.
- And as I say, this way of studying scripture and learning systematic theology at the same time in worship, in community, is, it’s not just transforming, it’s dynamite.
- Why, which is, why it’s so important that our young clergy, people who will have power and influence, are given a robust theology.
- I would sometimes go up to visit him, quite frequently, actually, on a Sunday, when the rest of the family were busy when he was in the nursing home.
Commas may be used to offset extra information within a sentence, or to append extra information at the end of a sentence.
- And brought me to, I think, brought me to the relationship I now have with Christ.
- And he and his wife were obviously still at their morning devotions because the two bibles were laid open on the chair, the little table next to the chair.
- I’m convinced, I think T. F. was too, that each discourse has to remain true to its own, would we call it logic.
Protip: Commas can change how written text is read and interpreted. In written form, proper grammar is often viewed as harsh or formal, while improper grammar often lends itself more toward a more conversational nature. Don't be afraid to lean away from how you were taught proper grammar and incline your hearing toward colloquial speech when placing commas in a transcription.
The addition of commas to make a sentence grammatically correct is under the editor's discretion. Choosing to omit a comma that would make a sentence grammatically correct is permissible (and encouraged) when it more faithfully conveys the tone of the speaker. Commas indicate pauses and should be used to clarify the written text. Omitting a comma should be used when the tone of speaking is fluid and the written text is non-ambiguous.
But when I heard Professor Torrance speaking, there was a way in which he seemed to tie those verses together underneath to make sense of the whole, and I thought “This sounds absolutely wonderful. I want to hear more of that.”