The Oxford comma, let me teach you it

[ I originally wrote this as a comment on a friend’s LJ in response to his reposting the below image, but wanted to also post the comment on my blog since it’s a subject I feel strongly about. ]

With the Oxford comma: we invited the strippers, jfk, and stalin.  Without the Oxford comma: we invited the strippers, jfk and stalin.

I personally, dislike, the Oxford comma, and, prefer, the Shatner comma.


Seriously, though, most of the examples folks use when illustrating the value of “the Oxford comma” follows this pattern:

“… Noun, ProperNoun and ProperNoun.”

In this specific case, I agree, the series (Oxford) comma is necessary. However, if the last three of the list elements are proper nouns, it’s not necessary:

“I went to England, Spain and France.”

Or, if none of the last three elements in the list are proper nouns:

“At the grocery store, please buy carrots, mangos and limes.”

What’s worse is when folks use the serial (Oxford) comma before a conjunction when NOT enumerating a list, like:

“I went to the store, and bought a book.” FUCK NO WRONG WRONG WRONG. This is NOT an Oxford comma, it’s called WRONG WRONGITY WRONG WRONG.



  1. I prefer 0(1) solutions where feasible. Thus, the Oxford comma.

    Think about it. ;)

    • Misuse of the Oxford comma ruins prosody.

      If, you, don’t read commas, as pauses, then maybe, just maybe, abusing the Oxford comma, or in this case, the Shatner comma, isn’t quite, so, offensive to you.

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