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September 28, 2011

The inescapable case for the Oxford comma...

An issue certain to punctuate discussion wherever English teachers gather is the Oxford comma. When you list a series of items in a sentence, you separate them with commas -- but should there be a comma after “and” and before the last item in that series? Many Americans are taught to leave it out.

Oxford University Press has long favoured that final comma, to the extent that it has become known as “the Oxford comma.” There was speculation recently that Oxford might abandon the use of the Oxford comma, but it still stands strong.

And those who argue in favour might well use the following illustration from Language Log to bolster their case...


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