The Oxford Comma…’Nuf said

And, of course, this one…which has always cracked me up…(hanks, Duff)

8 Responses to The Oxford Comma…’Nuf said

  1. spbowers says:

    Very visual. I’m not likely to forget that comma again. 🙂

  2. Laura says:

    Haha! This is the third thing about the Oxford Comma that I’ve seen on the Internet today…

    I guess it depends on which stylebook you prefer. I know journalists use AP, which hates the Oxford Comma for some reason.

  3. Bill Webb says:

    The Tweenager comes home from school the other day and declares that the Oxford comma is “out.” He says his teacher told him it is no longer needed. My response?

    “Do what your teacher says,”

    What else is there to say? They are the ones grading his papers. But that irked me. So I also told him that the only reason people think like that is because newspapers didn’t use them. I went on to give him a history lesson on how much ink and column space AP style writing created and that’s why they don’t use Oxford commas and semi-colons and such and maybe he ought to tell his teacher that little story instead of her recreating her own damn grammar guidelines. With the advent of word processors and Internet news, space and column inch measurements don’t have much meaning so the reasons for omitting puncuation have disappeared. I have used that little illustation above as an example of how that little comma provides clarity.

    My wife’s response?

    “You shouldn’t give him advice on writing.”


    Long live the Oxford Comma!

  4. If your tweenager’s English teacher is anything like the ones my kids had, I would double check your kid’s papers. For starters, she’s dead wrong – the Oxford Comma is alive and well – she’s just teaching them wrong, which doesn’t surprise me.

    My kids’ teachers were also woefully lacking. They didn’t know how to spell, had no clue about how to properly use punctuation.

    I even went to school one time to challenge one of my kid’s teachers because she’d redlined things that were correct. No shock that she was about twelve-years-old…what colleges are passing as licensed teachers these days is shocking.

    Anyhoo, while I pointed out her mistakes, she took one look at me (and my advancing years), considered that I’m an editor and sorta do this thing for a living, and pOof…my kid’s paper went from a C- to an A. I made her go through every red line on my kid’s paper and made her justify why she’d marked it wrong. Sadly, she had no clue. Yes, she was that stupid. I suggested she buy The Chicago Manual of Style post haste. Dumbass.

  5. Jim Sarfeh says:

    With commas reminds me of the now famous Eats, shoots and leaves.

  6. Priscilla Turner says:

    Just coming up for air after a major PC upgrade, I feel bound to say that the ‘Oxford’ comma, used in and out of season, is dead as a doornail in all British writing, and has been for decades. It probably never really took off in the UK at any time, even in fine writing or academic texts. We call it the “breathless” comma. When we see it in US English we think of it as akin to the preference for -iz- in words where there is no Greek original. I shudder at “analyze”, for instance.

    Even Bill Gates gives one a choice in Word, whether or not its omission is to be flagged in one’s writing. Sticking it in to avoid ambiguity is another matter: that involves an intelligent choice, not obedience to a rule.

    I think that I should just use my common sense when I read “I had eggs, toast and orange juice”. For your second picture I’d write “I had eggs, then toast-with-orange juice, having unfortunately tipped my full glass over, being really sleepy” …

    That reminds me that computer programmers seem to have killed the hyphen. If it was not so late at night I’d be able to think of some really bad cases of no-hyphen.

  7. Priscilla Turner says:

    Ha! I’ve just read about “sleep deprived cat lovers” ! TWO well-placed hyphens really would help, don’t you think?

  8. […] Comma Lovers Everywhere ~ @ Behler Blog, The Oxford Comma…’Nuf said. This made my week and filled me with glee. Click on […]

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