Google the term Oxford comma and you are sure to get some juicy internet results. This is one of the most, if not the most, controversial literary topics on the planet. Right up there with the questions of whether Lewis Carroll was a child molester and who was the original Chosen One in Harry Potter. By the way, spoiler alert, Harry was not the main character of the series from the get-go. JK originally felt Neville could carry the tale, but alas, the golden boy with the lightning bolt won. Alas, and here we are, with Oxford commas at the ready for more controversies to stir more literary musings for you all.
Why the Stir of the Comma
The Oxford comma, for those of you here in your elementary writing years, is a comma used for connecting a series of things. Like your morning buns, yoga sessions, and coffee mugs. However, when you are putting together things like this that involve more than one subject, it gets messy. Like your morning buns, yoga sessions and coffee mugs…would be completely new in context without that second comma.
Yet there are those web content writers and ad junkies who seem to feel that never using an Oxford comma to connect a serial statement is A-OK. However, there are the same writers who will give you sentences like, “My dog rolled over on the roses, gladiolas, rosemary, sage and thyme.” It’s fine, and in this instance, it helps you to roll through all of those listed things. Which is great when you want to save your readers time, as when writing ad copy and some web content.
When to Oxford Comma
And here’s the rub. The Oxford comma, like vegan bratwurst and watermelon poke, has its place in the world of writing. At the same time, it stands out in the crowd just like those faux meats do at family gatherings and backyard barbecues. So whether you jump on one bandwagon or the other in this comma loving crowd, just know that everyone gets the love, sometimes.
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