Oxford Comma

Living AP Style

This Writing Wednesday is likely to ruffle a few feathers, but I’m past the point of caring.

There is a time and place to use the Oxford comma—simple lists are not that time or place.

Here’s my train of thought when it comes to The ComIf a pause would benefit the sentence’s flow, by all means! Please add it!

But if you’re just being disruptive for the sake of RULES, knock it off.

Here’s what I mean:

  • We ate a hearty breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast.
  • We ate a hearty breakfast of bacon, eggs, and toast.

First of all, it looks terrible. Stuffed to the gills with little flips of the pen. For what? A totally unnecessary pause.

Every comma signifies a pause.

Whenever you add a comma, read the pause. READ IT. Does it sound normal? Like a natural pause? Great. Leave it.

But if you’re…

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Author: Grandtrines

Like so many people, I am a paradox. I am a politically conservative vegetarian. I am from a Christian background, and still tend to like those values, but am a metaphysical astrologer trained in science who has an interest in the magic of ancient Egypt and a weird belief that some piece of our essence can live on a server. I live in Texas, but like chatting with my international Wordpress pals the best. I learn by teaching. Technically, I am a "Leo," but I am very, very Aquarian with a dose of Scorpio. I bitterly complain about Algol (and Algol personaliites), yet it is the one star that defines me most (other than Regulus). (Which, oddly, makes me an Algol personality.) I am a reclusive lover of peace and quiet who has the Ascendant in the Via Combusta (the most conflict ridden part of the zodiac). I am an incredibly private person with a blog with over 800 followers and 50 to 150 regular daily visitors. I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

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