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Chacham's Journal: Verbiage: "If..then" and a comma (2) 2

Journal by Chacham

I believe that in an English if statement, using then and a comma is redundant. I have been challenged on this, told i am incorrect, and shown many examples otherwise.

Strunk and White's Elements of Style (PDF) does not use "then" after a comma. For example

If the interruption to the flow of the sentence is but slight, the writer may safely omit the commas.

While the book does not list the rule, the style of the book itself shows its application. I feel vindicated...and terribly ashamed at my egregious use of commas.

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Verbiage: "If..then" and a comma (2)

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  • I "hear" what I write, in a voice with both cadence, and inflection.

    Good style or not, I will use the archaic comma preceding a conjunction, when it reflects the strength of that which is commanded by the inward ear. It is this sense also, that allows one to play music improvisation. "Sound" - including speech - does not occur "in the air", rather it is a province of the mind.

    • by Chacham (981)

      As an aside, in Hebrew, "comma" means [] "how many" or "some". I often chuckle at the overuse of commas.

"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. -- Alfred North Whitehead