July 21, 2011Why I still use the Oxford comma
Don’t worry about the dictionary definition. The Oxford Comma is simple. It separates out separate things. Without the comma, things are combined.
Here’s a simple, concise, and definitive argument courtesy of shortee.tumblr.com –
As you can see, the Oxford comma isn’t an afterthought. It’s absolutely essential to get your message across with clarity.
Here’s another example, this time from aeferg.tumblr.com –
The Oxford comma is kind of like the <li> tag (if you’re in an HTML frame of mind). Each comma is another <ul> or <ol> entry that separates each individual item. In other words, the Oxford comma is the old fashioned way of writing bullet points.
Without the comma, sentences are simply separated into two clauses, with confusing (and sometimes hilarious) results.
In short — if you want to give your readers clarity, give them the Oxford comma.