Word Nerd

A truce for use – Oxford Comma

A battle rages online about the serial comma. It is more commonly known as, “The Oxford Comma.” While I typically tend to favor it, I’ve never been a ‘grammar nazi’ about its use. Seeing so many rants and screeds online that demand its universal use seem like a waste of time to me. Often it feels like people are just tilting at windmills.

This video explains why the Oxford Comma has become optional.

An optional grammar rule seems like a very odd thing to me. Consider the fact that grammar acts as not so much as the ‘law’ of a language, but more like the road on which speakers and writers drive. Grammar paves the way for smooth communication. Encountering something variable is akin to suddenly driving on gravel or a dirt road. It’s certainly not the smooth surface of pavement we’re more accustomed to using.

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