Thanks for the input
Here, 'August 13, 2002' is an adjective modifying 'letter', so we do not want a comma after the year.
In 'On August 13, 2002, Jonathan Forbush ran the 3-minute mile', the comma marks the end of the adverbial phrase, and is needed to set it off from the main clause.
My feeling-- and practice-- and teaching-- is that the bottom line on comma use is clarity. The function of a comma is to clarify the relationships of the various clauses and phrases in the sentence. Not enough commas confuses, too many look cluttered and redundant. They should be helpers, not hindrances, and deployed as such.
As far as dates are concerned, I have taken to presenting them in the increasingly acceptable format of '13 August 2002'.
Hope this helps.
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Anonymous:thanks for posting this - I have been looking for this answer for a long time!
Anonymous:I was wondering if the grammar is correct to type a date with the "th" followed by a comma in a sentence as follows: November 28th, 2007.
Anonymous:Yes, you would put a comma after the year.
Anonymous:Your assistant is right. The sentence should read: Your August 13, 2002, letter gave no indication of your intentions.
Anonymous:The comma rule in question here is not a matter of sylistic choice. It is a tested rule in many state tests that public school students must pass. In the sample sentence given above, a comma is necessary. Send your letter before September 30, 2009, to our office. No comma is necessary if only the month and year are used. Your September 2009 issue of our magazine should arrive soon.
Now that people are having to be their own editors, correct use of conventions has declined drastically. Even newspapers like the New York Times contain many more errors than in days past when people made a living being copy editors.
People are waiting to help.