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TIPSY TODAY with Rogena
OXFORD COMMA—which camp are you in?
I'm sure you've seen the meme that reads:
"I love to cook, pets and kids."
"I love to cook, pets, and kids."
Without the Oxford Comma, also known as the Serial Comma, it would look like I like to cook both pets and kids.
Even though there are days when we might want to cook our pets and children, it isn't advisable, nor is it legal. ;)
However, if truth be told, the real sentence is saying I love to cook, I love pets, and I love children. As it should be...
(You also know this is figuratively speaking because I really don't like to cook, but you get my drift here.)
RULE: There is only one 100% rule when it comes to the Oxford Comma: clarity trumps convention.
GRAMMARMONSTER.COM says: "Clarity Trumps Convention Every Single Time. So, there are arguments for and against the Oxford Comma. As it happens, you probably don't have a choice whether to adopt the Oxford Comma or not. If you live in the UK, you probably shouldn't adopt it. If you live in the US, you probably should. Whatever convention you go for, be consistent. That is the only rule."
With that said, even if you live in the UK—if I'm your editor, I will use the Oxford/Serial Comma every time. You, as the author, have the final say in accepting or rejecting such. Just be careful of clarity when rejecting said comma.
ANd no matter what.... never cook your pets or your children. I don't want to read about you on the internet when you are caught.
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TIPSY TODAY with Rogena © RMJ MS 12/02/14
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