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(The Stranger)   The best argument for the Oxford comma that you'll see all week   (thestranger.com ) divider line
    More: Amusing, serial comma  
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11787 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Dec 2013 at 2:47 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



119 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


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2013-12-11 02:29:54 PM  
cdn.thegloss.com
 
2013-12-11 02:36:03 PM  
And here I was thinking Takei had posted the best argument of the day:

scontent-b-lga.xx.fbcdn.net

\NTTAWWT
\\well, unless you're Michelle
 
2013-12-11 02:46:32 PM  
i105.photobucket.com
 
2013-12-11 02:48:00 PM  

FriarReb98: And here I was thinking Takei had posted the best argument of the day:

[scontent-b-lga.xx.fbcdn.net image 348x528]

\NTTAWWT
\\well, unless you're Michelle


And here I was thinking the Takei screenshot was going to be the farking article... huh. Both valid arguments. Oxford comma wins the day.
 
2013-12-11 02:49:17 PM  
Who gives a f&$@ about an Oxford comma?

/woooOooo
 
2013-12-11 02:49:24 PM  
I'm a comma junkie, so I am ok with this.
 
2013-12-11 02:50:28 PM  
I've never heard the term "Oxford comma" before.  I just thought it was a comma and that's how it's used.
 
2013-12-11 02:50:47 PM  
Lil' John always tells the truth.
 
2013-12-11 02:50:53 PM  
Who gives a fark about an Oxford comma.
I've seen those English dramas too.
 
2013-12-11 02:51:58 PM  

Literally Addicted: I'm a comma junkie, so I am ok with this.


At my last job, my APM told me he'd charge me $5 for all my extraneous commas, in an effort to get me to stop using so many.

I worked, and I never spent a dime.

// OX4RD COMMA 4LYFE
 
2013-12-11 02:52:07 PM  

DubtodaIll: I've never heard the term "Oxford comma" before.  I just thought it was a comma and that's how it's used.


it has become accepted.  and, in many formal settings preferred.  for example, In legal writing/pleading in the US, it is preferred.
 
2013-12-11 02:52:38 PM  

rogue_L_chick: Who gives a f&$@ about an Oxford comma?

/woooOooo


i1197.photobucket.com
 
2013-12-11 02:55:29 PM  

pute kisses like a man: DubtodaIll: I've never heard the term "Oxford comma" before.  I just thought it was a comma and that's how it's used.

it has become accepted.  and, in many formal settings preferred.  for example, In legal writing/pleading in the US, it is preferred.


I had to go a few rounds with my Journalism profs. AP style does not use the Oxford comma unless needed for clarity. The examples above are situations in which even AP would agree: use the damn comma!
 
2013-12-11 02:56:02 PM  
This post is dedicated to my parents, Ayn Rand and God.
 
2013-12-11 02:57:53 PM  
commonsenseatheism.com
No it isn't.
 
2013-12-11 02:59:06 PM  
chuckleaduck.com
 
2013-12-11 03:01:02 PM  
Pointless argument here in thread eight-zero-triple-five-niner-four.

If your house style is based on AP, lose the serial comma. If based on Chicago or Oxford, use it.

Sentences that need a serial comma could just as well benefit from a restructuring, but I'm an editor who follows AP, so my opinion is clearly invalid when compared to all of the Internet grammarians this thread is sure to draw.
 
2013-12-11 03:02:16 PM  

ChrisDe: [chuckleaduck.com image 500x525]


That joke just doesn't have the same impact when you learn it's missing a word. . .
 
2013-12-11 03:03:56 PM  

Literally Addicted: I'm a comma junkie, so I am ok with this.


i105.photobucket.com
 
2013-12-11 03:04:38 PM  
i778.photobucket.com
 
2013-12-11 03:04:38 PM  

rogue_L_chick: Who gives a f&$@ about an Oxford comma?


That's my favorite John Cale song!

/listen to Graham Greene and tell me there's a difference
//English Breakfast does not taste like Darjeeling!
 
2013-12-11 03:04:40 PM  
We wouldn't be having this whole conversation about comma use if the idiots wouldn't use them all up by converting them to apostrophes and using them improperly to denote plurals.

Wastrels.
 
2013-12-11 03:05:31 PM  
Or you could use your brain and actually understand the content of a sentence.
 
2013-12-11 03:06:53 PM  

tricycleracer

Lil' John always tells the truth.


Whhattt! O- KAY!!
 
2013-12-11 03:07:10 PM  
Stop trying to make Oxford comma a thing,

it's not going to happen
 
2013-12-11 03:09:13 PM  

MurphyMurphy: Stop trying to make Oxford comma a thing,

it's not going to happen


That's so fetch!
 
2013-12-11 03:11:26 PM  

akula: We wouldn't be having this whole conversation about comma use if the idiots wouldn't use them all up by converting them to apostrophes and using them improperly to denote plurals.


And honestly, when did we all start caring so deeply about people who are too dumb to understand a sentence from context?   Good writing is a matter of cadence and flow and prosody, not adhering to some clankety punctuation rule to ensure that idiots are safe from potential ambiguity.

Sure, let's all use the Oxford comma.  Then tomorrow we can restrict all written text to the 1,000 most common English words.
 
2013-12-11 03:13:11 PM  

ChrisDe: [chuckleaduck.com image 500x525]


That joke was a lot more entertaining and useful as a book.
4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-12-11 03:14:14 PM  
Literally Addicted: I'm a comma junkie, so I am ok with this.

I am a comma junkie; so, I'm ok with this.
 
2013-12-11 03:15:01 PM  
You could just try writing better sentences in the first place.
 
2013-12-11 03:15:43 PM  

Xcott: [i778.photobucket.com image 611x478]


Only if one willfully misreads the sentence would that be the case. The example sentence makes perfect sense with either sort of comma style, though, as usual, Oxford is preferred.
 
2013-12-11 03:17:01 PM  

The water was cold: Literally Addicted: I'm a comma junkie, so I am ok with this.

I am a comma junkie; so, I'm ok with this.


Nazi.

As a comma junkie, I am okay with this.

Do you feel better now?
 
2013-12-11 03:17:28 PM  
As a programmer, I say that the "and" is unnecessary, removing it does not reduce comprehension and it removes lots of ambiguity. Who is with me?

// We invited the strippers, Jfk, Stalin.
// I met with Lincoln, a rhinocerous, washington.

// and use parens when you have ambiguity For example, if Lincoln were actually the name of a rhino (in a zoo or something).

I met with Lincoln (a rhinocerous), washington.
 
2013-12-11 03:19:58 PM  

lordargent: As a programmer, I say that the "and" is unnecessary, removing it does not reduce comprehension and it removes lots of ambiguity. Who is with me?

// We invited the strippers, Jfk, Stalin.
// I met with Lincoln, a rhinocerous, washington.

// and use parens when you have ambiguity For example, if Lincoln were actually the name of a rhino (in a zoo or something).

I met with Lincoln (a rhinocerous), washington.


Or you could arrange the words in such a way that there is no ambiguity.

We invited JFK, Stalin and the strippers.
I met with Lincoln, Washington and a rhinoceros.
 
2013-12-11 03:21:18 PM  
RIP Comma Chameleon


userserve-ak.last.fm
 
2013-12-11 03:21:38 PM  

Literally Addicted: The water was cold: Literally Addicted: I'm a comma junkie, so I am ok with this.

I am a comma junkie; so, I'm ok with this.

Nazi.

As a comma junkie, I am okay with this.

Do you feel better now?


As a comma, junkie, I am okay with this.
 
2013-12-11 03:23:28 PM  

lockers: As a comma, junkie, I am okay with this.


Even I find that one wrong.
 
2013-12-11 03:25:03 PM  

Literally Addicted: The water was cold: Literally Addicted: I'm a comma junkie, so I am ok with this.

I am a comma junkie; so, I'm ok with this.

Nazi.

As a comma junkie, I am okay with this.

Do you feel better now?


Just joshing
 
2013-12-11 03:27:47 PM  

feanorn: The example sentence makes perfect sense with either sort of comma style, though, as usual, Oxford is preferred.


I think "style" is a misnomer.  The Oxford comma is the grammatical equivalent of the 36" minimum railing height.  It is not a stylistic rule, but a code requirement to protect the accident prone.

Using the Oxford comma is as much a stylistic decision as using bright safety orange for the warning sticker telling people not to stick their hands in a running lawnmower.
 
2013-12-11 03:28:56 PM  

Literally Addicted: The water was cold: Literally Addicted: I'm a comma junkie, so I am ok with this.

I am a comma junkie; so, I'm ok with this.

Nazi.

As a comma junkie, I am okay with this.

Do you feel better now?


I am a comma junkie. I am okay with this.
 
2013-12-11 03:29:25 PM  

lordargent: As a programmer, I say that the "and" is unnecessary, removing it does not reduce comprehension and it removes lots of ambiguity. Who is with me?

// We invited the strippers, Jfk, Stalin.
// I met with Lincoln, a rhinocerous, washington.

// and use parens when you have ambiguity For example, if Lincoln were actually the name of a rhino (in a zoo or something).

I met with Lincoln (a rhinocerous), washington.


Parens aren't the only acceptable punctuation mark there, but I see why they would appeal to a programmer. The em-dash would work as well.

I met with Lincoln-a rhinocerous-and Washington.

Be careful, though. I've noticed that programmers (computer guys in general, actually) have one habit that's considered poor grammar. It's ending a sentence with a quotation, and what to do with the period. An English professor will tell you that the punctuation mark goes inside the quotes, while the geek is more likely to put the quotes first, because that's the end of the string.
 
2013-12-11 03:29:25 PM  
Thanks, O-comma!
 
2013-12-11 03:31:16 PM  

scottydoesntknow: [cdn.thegloss.com image 500x654]


::sigh:: not this crap again.

25.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-12-11 03:32:00 PM  

The water was cold: Just joshing


Understood. I was flexing my snark muscle :)
 
2013-12-11 03:32:33 PM  

Literally Addicted: lockers: As a comma, junkie, I am okay with this.

Even I find that one wrong.


I guess that is why I called a junkie.
 
2013-12-11 03:33:26 PM  

lockers: Literally Addicted: lockers: As a comma, junkie, I am okay with this.

Even I find that one wrong.

I guess that is why I called a junkie.


Damn it. Preview is your friend.

I guess that is why I called YOU a junkie.
 
2013-12-11 03:33:33 PM  

drumhellar: I am a comma junkie. I am okay with this.


No, no, no, no, no, no.  There are no commas in those two declarative statements; therefore, I am not okay with that.
 
2013-12-11 03:33:46 PM  
I thought two things on reading this. 1) I believe it.  2) Sounds more like Bill Brasky.
 
2013-12-11 03:34:34 PM  

idesofmarch: scottydoesntknow: [cdn.thegloss.com image 500x654]

::sigh:: not this crap again.

[25.media.tumblr.com image 775x728]


Without the Oxford comma, the lower-right sentence is you telling JFK and Stalin that you invited the stripper.
 
2013-12-11 03:35:06 PM  
If the only thing standing between your intended meaning and a gross misunderstanding is a slender little comma... then rewrite the goddamn sentence and be done with it.
 
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