Oxford comma

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 06, 2009 5:54 PM GMT
    Do you prefer using or not using the oxford comma? It is the comma used before "and" in a series of words.

    Red, white and blue
    Or
    Red, white, and blue

    I usually prefer using it. I am not a grammar expert, but my understanding is that there isn't a set standard on using the oxford comma, but that its use is more a matter of personal style.
  • SirEllingtonB...

    Posts: 497

    Aug 06, 2009 6:19 PM GMT


    I prefer using the oxford comma.
  • DuggerPDX

    Posts: 386

    Aug 06, 2009 6:22 PM GMT
    Too funny, I was just having a conversation about this last week, yes I do. I didn't know it had a formal name.
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    Aug 06, 2009 6:26 PM GMT
    Yes, yes, and yes.

    My partners disagree with me, which makes editing their work frustrating. Did I mention that we write and publish books? Guess who does the editing. icon_confused.gif
  • outdoorjunkie

    Posts: 118

    Aug 06, 2009 6:26 PM GMT
    I like it, otherwise it appears you're describing something that has two similar characteristics.

    Red, white and blue: part of it is red, the other part is white AND blue

    Red, white, and blue: three colors. Or should I say colours?


    Hooray for grammar!! Don't get me started on plural possessives.

    icon_biggrin.gif
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    Aug 06, 2009 6:26 PM GMT
    jprichva saidI tend to use it. I like commas, they are to speech what rests are to a measure of music. When you write with commas, or semicolons (I use them a lot), the reader gets a natural sense of the rhythms of spoken speech; this does not occur as often when reading dry, unpunctuated prose.

    The best compliments I get on my writing are when someone tells me "you write exactly as you speak."


    or is it "you write exactly like you speak."

    better yet, "your writing reflects your style of oratory."

    maybe even, "you made a funny!"

    BTW, I too, have always used the oxford comma.
  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Aug 06, 2009 6:27 PM GMT
    I use it because there tends to be a natural pause there as well when speaking.

    As far as i know the accepted standard is to always use it except in newspapers, because, well, a) space is precious, and b) you have to pay the writer per character usually, so it saves the newspaper some money..icon_smile.gif
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    Aug 06, 2009 6:29 PM GMT
    it's all depends on the intended context of the series ...

    these are your sandwich choices: tuna, bologna, peanut butter and jelly

    not

    these are your sandwich choices: tuna, bologna, peanut butter, and jelly

    of course you could always just reorder the series to be:

    these are your sandwich choices: peanut butter and jelly, tuna, and bologna
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    Aug 06, 2009 6:30 PM GMT
    I don't use it.
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    Aug 06, 2009 6:32 PM GMT
    My favorite way of demonstrating the use of this is the following:

    "I'd like to thank my parents, Ayn Rand and God."
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    Aug 06, 2009 6:58 PM GMT
    FRONT2BACK saidit's all depends on the intended context of the series ...

    these are your sandwich choices: tuna, bologna, peanut butter and jelly

    not

    these are your sandwich choices: tuna, bologna, peanut butter, and jelly

    of course you could always just reorder the series to be:

    these are your sandwich choices: peanut butter and jelly, tuna, and bologna



    Yes, but it could be:

    these are your sandwich choices: tuna, bologna, peanut butter, or jelly icon_razz.gif
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    Aug 06, 2009 7:03 PM GMT
    I think some of you are both anal, and retentive.
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    Aug 06, 2009 7:10 PM GMT
    Buffyfan84 said

    Yes, but it could be:

    these are your sandwich choices: tuna, bologna, peanut butter, or jelly icon_razz.gif


    Growing up I would have killed for PB and J, or PB or J...the only sandwhich I got was Velvetta and Mayo on Wonder.
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    Aug 06, 2009 7:27 PM GMT
    I do use it, in fact, I use it both in English and Spanish and never knew it had a name in English. Is just feels natural, an as it has been said, I feel there is natural pause at the end of the list in normal speech and the comma there fits.
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    Aug 06, 2009 7:34 PM GMT
    I do it more often than not. My company requires that we use them in all marketing materials. The CEO has a real hard-on for them.
  • jarhead5536

    Posts: 1348

    Aug 06, 2009 7:34 PM GMT
    I don't use it, and I'm not really sure why. Something to do with making the lines look cleaner on the page or something like that I learned in college...
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    Aug 06, 2009 8:02 PM GMT
    NEVER but never. As Sister Mary Kevin said, "overuse of commas suggests sloppy writing and sloppy writing suggests sloppy thinking."

    At least that's what Sister Mary Kevin said. And I believed her, if only because she would otherwise have beaten the shit out of me.
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    Aug 06, 2009 8:07 PM GMT
    I donĀ“t use it.

    "I like commas, they are to speech what rests are to a measure of music."

    (the great JP).... One of the first things my supervisor told me about my writing was that the comma is not a breathing, but a visual clue for the eye to construe the grammar of a sentence.
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    Aug 06, 2009 8:20 PM GMT
    I didn't realize this was such a burning topic...other opinions may be found here: http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/171993/
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    Aug 07, 2009 12:01 AM GMT
    I used to, but since I started working at the academic centre I work in I've had my writing style slightly modified by the more senior academics here, all of whom don't write like that. So now I write like this, this and this.
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    Aug 07, 2009 12:03 AM GMT
    I, like, it, and, tend, to, use, commas, a, lot, even, when, grammatically, inappropriate, call, me, crazy,
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    Aug 07, 2009 12:07 AM GMT
    I almost never use it.

    The less clutter in your writing, the better.

    Stylistically, some of the major publications seem to be using the oxford comma less.
  • Squarejaw

    Posts: 1035

    Aug 07, 2009 12:19 AM GMT
    I'm a big Oxford comma supporter. One thing, though. You wouldn't write:

    these are your sandwich choices: tuna, bologna, peanut butter and jelly


    You'd write:

    these are your sandwich choices: tuna, bologna, and peanut butter and jelly
  • danisnotstr8

    Posts: 2579

    Aug 07, 2009 12:39 AM GMT
    LittleDudeWithMuscles saidI almost never use it.

    The less clutter in your writing, the better.

    Stylistically, some of the major publications seem to be using the oxford comma less.


    That is absolutely false.
    Sources? What major publications?
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    Aug 07, 2009 12:47 AM GMT
    Another Oxford comma user here. Big fan of semicolons too.

    To eliminate all that ambiguity, what we need is the punctuation equivalent of parentheses!