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To Use, or Not To Use, the Oxford Comma

To Use, or Not To Use, the Oxford Comma

The Oxford Comma is the comma that you find in a list of several items, just before “and (last item).” So the question we will attempt to answer is to use, or not to use, the Oxford Comma. Unless, of course, your strategy to be, or remain ambiguous is your long term strategy.

To Use, or Not To Use, the Oxford Comma?

For example: Yesterday I worked in the kitchen, made phone calls, (Oxford Comma) and did a lot of filing. Makes a lot of sense to use the comma and makes the sentence easy to read – right?

The simplest reason to use an Oxford Comma (aka. serial comma) is that it prevents confusion and ambiguity.  Sometimes it isn’t necessary, like in a list of single words, or words that are related.

Today I am wearing jeans, socks and a sweater.  (without Oxford Comma)
Today I am wearing jeans, socks, and a sweater.  (with Oxford Comma)

Whether I use the Oxford Comma or not doesn’t change the meaning of the sentence.

However, in certain types of sentences, the non-use of an Oxford Comma can lead to some rather confusing (and hilarious) interpretations.

oxford-comma-in-use
Oxford Comma
Listen to Superman and Wonder Woman.  Use the extra comma!

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