The Oxford Comma

I have three blogs and am constantly amazed at the difference in the “hit” rate. But that’s a story for another day. The  Wordpress.com News blog had a link today to  an article on getting more page views for your blog  – something that’s relevant to one of my blogs. However I became entranced with the March 22 post on the Oxford Comma . Despite loving English, I had never heard of this –  a comma that is optional before the “and” at the end of a list. Whenever I’ve felt the need to use such a device, I resort to the use of semi-colons as I was taught to do in primary school! The Oxford Comma looks so wrong to my eyes, but the example given really tickled my fancy:

“Leaving out the final comma in a series can also cause ambiguity, often to humorous effect. Consider these examples I’ve borrowed from the Wikipedia article on the serial comma:

  • To my parents, Ayn Rand and God.
  • Among those interviewed were his two ex-wives, Kris Kristofferson and Robert Duvall.”
Did anyone else have the no comma before ‘and’  rule drummed into them at school? Am I ‘misremembering’ or is this an Australia/UK difference in usage? Mmmm – must check the Macquarie Dictionary!

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One response to “The Oxford Comma

  1. Pingback: Polishing Up: Dashes, Commas and Colons (oh my!) « Romancing for Thrills

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