Debate Brews Over TV On the Radio's Dear Science and Its "Comma"

Debate Brews Over TV On the Radio's <i>Dear Science</i> and Its "Comma"
Since word of TV on the Radio’s Dear Science leaked this summer, a little grammatical debate has been brewing: does the actual album title take a comma?

When news initially broke about the album in July, the trendsetting folks over at Pitchfork said there was indeed one, writing "the comma is indeed part of the title." Since then, several media outlets have included the comma in the Dear Science title: New York Times, Paste, USA Today, AllMusic and, yes, even us at first. But as Idolator has so finely put it, this is "yet another case of Pitchfork saying ‘jump’ and everyone else saying ‘how high’” — Dear Science does not take a comma.

According to Idolator (who we’re agreeing with on this one), the punctuation mess started when TVOTR’s management had initially claimed the album’s title would take a comma, but the band decided against it early on, says the band’s publicist. Hence, the comma being dropped from every single press release, official band updates, website postings and, if you look at the actual album art, there too (it’s hard to see, but the one in the image above was "Photoshopped” in for our amusement). But since Pitchfork ran the news item saying the record took a comma, well, everyone just took their word for it, instead of actually listening to the band.

In fact, the whole mess has even now confused the band themselves. While talking to the Gothamist, TVOTR’s Kyp Malone said: "I don't know that there actually is a comma in the title. There may have been at some point in the construction of the art work on the cover."

Here at Exclaim!, we’re saying no comma based on the facts at hand (our copy came sans the punctuation) and because, well that’s enough for us. Hell, even the instigators themselves, Pitchfork, have chosen to do it.

TV On the Radio "Golden Age”