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The Oxford Comma

Discussion in 'Tea Room (Book Chat)' started by Angel, November 26, 2019.

  1. Angel

    Angel Munificent Critic

    A question on grammar that I have been considering and am now asking for opinions?

    Of course, by asking for this I am well aware that this post will contain at least one, if not more, grammatical errors merely for commenting on the subject at hand.

    I know there are several style guides out there that don't require it and I consider this a small folly.

    For example: I like my two dogs, Churchill, and Thatcher

    Or without the comma: I like my two dogs, Churchill and Thatcher.

    In the former sentence it's referring to two dogs and two people. In the latter it's two dogs named Churchill and Thatcher.

    Some people would say that it should be written as: I like Churchill, Thatcher and my two dogs.

    But to me this changes the order of my preference as it would imply I prefer the two PMs over the two dogs when that simply isn't the case.

    I suppose I could add an adverb to highlight the fact, but that's another construct frowned upon and a topic for another day.

    So what say you? Yay, or nay, to the Oxford Comma?
  2. Kindler

    Kindler Active Member

    Reminds me of the joke about the panda with the gun, or the one about the Koala and the prostitute.

    Either way it came down to "Eats, shoots, and leaves" vs "Eats shoots and leaves".

    All hail the comma for totally different meanings.
  3. Terry

    Terry Member

    I always have trouble with commas, either adding too many or not adding enough.

    I find myself doing what newspapers do and re-writing it so you don't need them. I'm not writing anything fancy so as long as I can get the point across, it's doing it's job.
  4. CatInASuit

    CatInASuit Administrator Staff Member

    You could always take the one author route and dumb the sentences down so they work for children and have no nuance or subtlety at all.

    Then you never have this problem. :scheming:

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