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In the sentence, "During 1983 temperatures set records," would it be okay to omit the comma after "during 1983"?

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  • Absolutely. Commas are mostly a matter of style anyway.
    – Robusto
    Nov 9, 2016 at 6:08
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    I'm not really convinced by "during" in general. I don't think I would use it this way. I'd pretty universally use "in". I'm also not particularly fond of the attribution of action. "Record [high? low?] temperatures were experienced/recorded"... the temperatures didn't really set the record. The record is a human construct.
    – Catija
    Jan 12, 2017 at 15:19

1 Answer 1

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In your sentence, the comma may be omitted.

During 1983 temperatures set records.

During 1983, temperatures set records.

Both sentences would be understood to mean the same, but the comma shouldn't be omitted, because "during 1983" is an introductory clause.

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    If both sentences would be understood to mean the same thing, why do you think the comma should not be omitted?
    – user230
    Jan 12, 2017 at 5:00
  • @Hectorvon Your italicized sentence is nearly unintelligible to me. Can you edit that? Jun 23, 2017 at 21:58
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    A comma is very helpful here. Otherwise one has to ponder how to parse the text. Consider: During 2000 thunderstorms caused major problems in Winnipeg. vs. During 2000 thunderstorms scientists discovered that over 200 of the storms spawned tornadoes. It is very hard to parse these sentences without commas, so I would use commas for clarity. It's not the reader's job to figure out what I meant, if I can help. Jun 23, 2017 at 22:41
  • @Rhythmatic I cannot edit an old comment, but I could delete it.
    – Hector von
    Jun 27, 2017 at 20:55

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