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The Oxford Comma

The Oxford Comma: Decried, Defended and Debated Also known as the serial comma... The Oxford comma clarifies meaning when placed before conjunctions like OR & AND of words in a sentence. The Oxford comma got its name from the Oxford University Press where the printers and editors traditionally used it. a series 6. I promise I won't let you down! No Oxford comma Yes Oxford comma In sentences with a simple list, the meaning can still be clear without it: In sentences with complicated lists, an Oxford comma helps things make sense: Without an Oxford comma.. "She wore tan shoes, pink shoelaces and a polka-dot shirt. Wow! Your parents are Oprah Winfrey and Bill Clinton?! "I would like to thank my parents, Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey." With an Oxford comma... Oh, I get it. You are thanking 4 people. "I would like to thank my parents, Bill Clinton, and Oprah Winfrey." Makes sense. Oxford Comma Make a decision, and then commit! Most editors agree that the most important thing when using the Oxford comma is to be consistent - either never use it, or use it every time. Value, recommend, and use: V The Elements of Style V American Psychological Association (APA) V Fowler's Modern English Usage V Modern Language Association (MLA) V Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) American Medical Association (AMA) V US. Government Printing Office Style Manual Dislike, avoid and omit: The Associated Press (most news outlets follow the AP Stylebook) The Economist New York Times Why use it? A Why omit it? V Helps avoid ambiguity Sometimes doesn't help clarity and can introduce ambiguity / Matches the natural speech pattern of pausing before the last item in a series Redundant-the preceding conjunction serves the same purpose as the comma V Makes lists easier to comprehend Takes up more space IRONY ALERT! The PR department at Oxford University no longer uses the Oxford comma (although Oxford University Press still does). Commas can be cool! The band VAMPIRE WEEKEND has a song called "Oxford Comma." The Oxford comma has a Facebook page with over 29,000 likes. So what should YOU do? If you're in the United Kingdom, Canada or Australia, you can probably omit it. If you're in the United States, use it (unless you are writing for a news outlet that follows AP Style). For every chapter of your education Created for O QuinStreet, Inc. 2013 Sources:

The Oxford Comma

shared by OnlineSchools on May 23
This infographic presents the topic of when to use a comma. It deals with the origin of the grammar rule, along with pointing out interesting differences between American and British grammar.


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