Shall we talk about the Oxford comma?
May 18, 2019

You mention three things in a sentence. How does that sentence read? “One, two and three.” Or, “One, two, and three.”

Which is it?

To the people who edited The Career Clinic: Eight Simple Rules for Finding Work You Love, it’s the second. The second comma in that second sentence is known as an Oxford comma, and -- while it felt strange to me at first -- I soon became such a fan that its absence looked strange.

Then I started seeing things like this…

Oxford commaSold! Oh, boy. Am I ever. And I’m not alone. Some people even use the Oxford comma as a way to get dates. It doesn’t always work, of course. As one woman put it, “Passion for the Oxford comma isn’t a substitute for a personality.”

If you’re still on the grammatical fence, may I make a suggestion? Pick a team. Being consistent is a balm. People like knowing what to expect from you -- on a date, or in a sentence.