Both of these examples are real news titles:

  • DoorDash, C3.ai skyrocket in public market debuts
  • Pfizer and BioNTech to submit request for emergency use approval of their COVID-19 vaccine today

What I don't understand is the first example! Why use a comma instead of "and" between two names? I never saw a grammar rule for this. When should we use such structure for our sentence?

1 Answer 1


It is important for headlines to summarise in a short and readable way, and not occupy too much of the area of a page. The ordinary rules of punctuation and grammar may be ignored or replaced by those of 'Headlinese'. For example, conjunctions may be replaced by punctuation, so that 'and' in an ordinary sentence can be a comma in a headline. Definite and indefinite articles may be discarded, the present tense always used, auxiliary verbs ignored, etc.

Police arrest serial killer – close case on abductions
Fire in bakery: hundreds dead
Man kills 5, self

8 Grammar rules for headlines

Headline (Wikipedia)

  • 1
    Note that the use of commas in place of "and" in headlines is US specific, you wouldn't see it in a UK headline. Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 9:39
  • @Ben - what makes you suppose that? Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 14:15
  • @MichaelHarvey, I add the comment by mistake
    – Ben
    Commented Sep 5, 2021 at 8:01

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