Digressing a little from literature and moving into grammar, specifically: the comma. I just stumbled upon a blog by a librarian and she titled her newest post: “Way to go Bard!” To me, there’s no other way to interpret this but to think that she’s saying: “Yes, that’s the way to become a bard”, but you can see from the text that she’s rooting for the Bard College, which means she is addressing it in her title. In that case, the title should be “Way to go, Bard!”
I don’t know when and why the comma in direct speech became obsolete. It’s very rare nowadays that I see people greeting other people in written communication with: “Hey, X”. It’s always: “Hey X.” All of us learned in school that when addressing someone, you ALWAYS separate his or her name with a comma. It’s: “How are you, Mark?”, not: “How are you Mark?” But maybe in English the “direct speech comma” is not a rule?
For some reason, this comma issue is frustrating me beyond common sense, especially since everyone around me is puzzled by my obsession with it. It’s as if everyone, even librarians, are saying: “Let the comma go, Ana.” Or better: “Let the comma go (no comma) Ana.”
So, if anyone has some explanation to “whatever happened to comma that goes before the addressed object,” please come to rescue.
P.S. Just a few links I found, not sure how reliable they are: