Love at first sight! Now that would be a big news day.
I had never heard of “the Oxford comma,” but apparently it’s just a serial comma, the use of which many find duplicative. However, it can clarify the meaning of a sentence: “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs, boys, and girls,” versus “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs, boys and girls.” To me, NOT using the serial comma makes sentences look like a spreadsheet formula with a missing parenthesis, but to each his own however stupid or illiterate it looks I guess.
Without the Oxford comma, you’re marching to hell. (I’m just sayin’.)
7 thoughts on “A case for the Oxford comma (as if it needs to be made in the first place.)”
When I’m writing (my unlikely to be published novels), I prefer to omit the comma before “and,” but that example shows that it can be useful.
In that line, one my delights of this season is the catalogs that flood my mail. (Yes, I know, YMMV.) Some of the the more “geek”-oriented ones feature T-shirts that assert “commas save lives” and give the example: “Let’s eat, Grandma” versus “Let’s eat Grandma.”
Cracks me up every time I see it.
Thank you for a little light relief. The Oxford comma is indeed your friend. I’ve actually considered one of those geeky tee-shirts for people on my Christmas list who feel strongly about things like that.
I’m inviting to dinner my parents, the Pope and Mother Theresa.
I’m inviting to dinner my parents, the Pope, and Mother Theresa.
I think there was a book recently about how correct punctuation choices save us from humorous or disturbing sentences: Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, illustrated by a Panda holding a smoking gun (vs. “Eats shoots and leaves.”)
Harumph! Let’s eat grandma, indeed!
I guess you’re telling us that you also don’t know this song:
Hm. Didn’t embed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_i1xk07o4g
I never heard it called the Oxford comma before. I just heard it called “how you use commas.” It was about the only thing I ever got right about commas in the view of Miss Davies, who once wrote on an English paper of mine “you have no conception of the logic of the comma…” Which I would have amended to “[I] have some, slight, conception of the logic of the comma…”