March 12, 2015

Oxford Comma : Grammar & Writing Tips

Funny thing about getting off schedule... it has a ripple effect. Since I didn't publish my Monday post until Tuesday, it felt weird to publish my Grammar post on Wednesday (normal schedule). But, never fear, I didn't forget!

Today, I wanted to talk about commas. 

Whether the comma or period is the most used punctuation mark could be debated. After all, every sentence needs a period; not all sentences require a comma. However, some sentences use more than one comma.


So, I will feature comma uses several times.

For today, an easy one.

The Oxford Comma

Growing up, I was taught to put a comma before the and in a series ONLY if the series was complicated (not just single words). However, the new standard is to put the comma before the and.

At first, I was resistant. But, as an editor, I've seen countless examples of why it's important to use this comma. Plus, let's be honest, it's easier to have a hard-and-fast rule about it than a subjective one. Commas tend to be the most misused punctuation mark because of varying opinions, so a few solid rules are useful.

So, embrace the Oxford comma. After all, you don't want...

When I'm worried about something, I often seek wisdom 
from my parents, God and Judy Blume.

Wow. Instead of my parents, God, and Judy Blume, I've now declared that my parents are God and Judy Blume.

Is there an editing/grammar issue that's always caused you trouble? If so, share it in the comments so I can feature it in a future post. 


Casey L. Bond said...

I love all commas, especially the Oxford. Thank you for posting. I know there are appropriate times to use them and you rock! That is all.

Martha Reynolds said...

Yes! (Fist pump) The Oxford comma is necessary!

Jo Michaels said...

CASEY! Yes, Casey loves her commas :) LOL! Seriously though, I love my Oxford commas. I feel like a dolt when I don't use them. I think it might be helpful to point out the nature of the words before a list containing commas, too. :) Just an idea.

Fab post. Love the strippers. ROFL!


Tia Bach said...

Commas can mean such a difference! Thanks for visiting the blog, ladies!