Thursday, March 1, 2018

✏️What is the Oxford Comma? ๐ŸŽ“

When I started writing for other people, I found that there were a few changes from when I wrote in school. One was that it changed from two spaces between sentences to one space and the other was the "Oxford comma".

To me, it was redundant.

"I went to the store, the library, and the gym."
"I went to the store, the library, and and the gym."

However, my first client required the Oxford comma and so does my current client. That is why in all my blogs here, I use the Oxford comma as well. Habits are hard to break.

Some writers have strong opinions about the Oxford comma and purchase items like this mug and this plaque, so let's talk about it.

๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผ‍♂️Where did the Oxford comma start?

Also known as the serial comma, it started being used by the authors and editors of the Oxford University Press over a century ago. It is now recommended for most writing styles with more and more issuing a mandatory rule.

๐Ÿค”How do I use the Oxford comma?

The Oxford comma is used to make lists easily understandable. Here are some examples:

"I went to the store with Jared and Linda, Susan, and Philip." Here, it shows that while Jared and Linda are a couple, Susan and Philip are not.

"She went to the concert with her friends, the teacher and the janitor." Here it looks like her friends are the teacher and the janitor, which may be true, but if not, write it as follows:
"She went to the concert with her friends, the teacher, and the janitor."

The last reason to use an Oxford comma is for no reason whatsoever. Like this:
"Today, I ate beans, carrots, and peas."
I see no way to confuse that sentence, but I write it that way because my editors tell me to. ๐Ÿต

๐Ÿ’”Hard Habit to Break

Since I can't write half the time one way and the other time another way, I use the Oxford comma all the time - and I never double spacebar. Yes, a better writer probably can write five assignments a day using a different grammatical style each time. But then, if I were a better writer, I wouldn't still be slogging it out writing other people's content, ๐Ÿ˜‚ and that is a whole other issue!

Do you use an Oxford comma? Are you able to switch easily between writing styles? Let us know in the comment section!!

photo credit: Dave Dugdale Open Book via photopin (license)

No comments:

Post a Comment