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).”

For example: Yesterday I worked in the kitchen, made phone calls, (Oxford Comma) and did a lot of filing.

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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