Oxford Comma...or Not?

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  1. DzyMsLizzy profile image95
    DzyMsLizzyposted 16 months ago

    Please make up your minds!!

    I've had several hubs edited by the pro bot (or human-bot) now, and I do wish they'd make up their minds!

    Some of the hubs have had the Oxford comma removed; others have had it added!!

    How are we supposed to know which way to go with this, if HP itself is so indecisive??

    1. kenneth avery profile image83
      kenneth averyposted 16 months agoin reply to this

      @ smile DzyMsLizzy, "Christy and Matt to the rescue . . .(sung with the tune, "Jim Dandy, To The Rescue,") and I hope that you are not too young to remember this ditty or else I am going to look pretty foolish.

      1. kenneth avery profile image83
        kenneth averyposted 16 months agoin reply to this

        @ Anyone, and yes, I am making a full-display of my ignorance, but will one of you please email me what an Oxford comma looks like?

        1. theraggededge profile image98
          theraggededgeposted 16 months agoin reply to this

          ,

          There you go smile

          1. kenneth avery profile image83
            kenneth averyposted 16 months agoin reply to this

            @ smile theraggededge . . .you have to be kidding?!!!! And for years I was using a foreign symbol that separates lists, people, animals, etc.

    2. Titia profile image94
      Titiaposted 16 months agoin reply to this

      Had to look up what the Oxford comma was. We don't use that in the Dutch language. When I write in English I let my Word (English USA) spelling and grammar control go over the text and it doesn't use the Oxford comma. Neither does the English (Great Britain) spelling control if I choose that one.

    3. EricDockett profile image99
      EricDockettposted 16 months agoin reply to this

      I've typically avoided it but some of the editors seem fond of it. Whateva.  I agree that it would be nice to understand the reasoning.

    4. Christy Kirwan profile image97
      Christy Kirwanposted 16 months agoin reply to this

      Our editors use the Oxford Comma, but if we're only making minimal edits, we won't necessarily change the comma usage in an article (which may result in some articles having it and others not). But editors will not remove the Oxford Comma if the author has chosen to use it. If you have an example of an instance of the Oxford Comma being removed from an article by an editor, please feel free to post it here. It was likely in error.

      1. DzyMsLizzy profile image95
        DzyMsLizzyposted 16 months agoin reply to this

        Hi, Christy;
        Unfortunately, I already deleted the e-mails that had those affected hubs.  It was with hindsight that I thought, "Hey, waitaminit here..."  sad
        I will be sure to bring it to your attention should it happen again.

    5. promisem profile image96
      promisemposted 16 months agoin reply to this

      HP editors favor an English grammar style over a journalism grammar style because most of them have an English grammar background.

      It raises an important question over whether HP should be an English lit site or a journalism site.

  2. theraggededge profile image98
    theraggededgeposted 16 months ago

    Despite it's name, we don't use it in the UK either. However, it does make sense to me, so I am using it more frequently these days, depending on whom I'm writing for. Grammar Girl gives a good explanation: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/educat … rial-comma

    1. Venkatachari M profile image28
      Venkatachari Mposted 16 months agoin reply to this

      The Grammarly editor uses this Oxford comma. I learned its usage through my Grammarly recently since one year. Otherwise, I was unaware of it. It is good to pause between each item when you are mentioning a list of items. So, I recommend it.

    2. Mariaelizabeth profile image89
      Mariaelizabethposted 16 months agoin reply to this

      Interesting article and discussion

  3. Will Apse profile image91
    Will Apseposted 16 months ago

    I primarily have a science background and it is amazing how little I care about Oxford commas. If a sentence reads OK, that is good enough for me.

    On the other hand, grammar fiends have as much right to their peccadillos as anyone else.

    May they continue to be fascinated...

    1. Jesse Drzal profile image96
      Jesse Drzalposted 16 months agoin reply to this

      When I saw you commented on this in the forum main screen, I knew it was going to be solid gold. You never disappoint.

    2. Venkatachari M profile image28
      Venkatachari Mposted 16 months agoin reply to this

      That's a nice take, Will Apse.

  4. theraggededge profile image98
    theraggededgeposted 16 months ago

    An Oxford comma isn't the comma that separates items in a list. It's the one (or not) that appears after the last item and before 'and'.

    With Oxford comma:

    I cleaned the bathroom, the bedroom, the living room, and the kitchen.

    Without

    I cleaned the bathroom, the bedroom, the living room and the kitchen.

    That use is purely choice. However, consider these:

    I love my parents, Bart Simpson and Miss Piggy.

    I love my parents, Bart Simpson, and Miss Piggy.

    Can you see the difference? It's quite an important one. And one that means the Oxford comma is a very useful thing smile

    For those who can't see it... the first sentence says that the person writing loves two people. In the second it's clear they love four people.

    1. DzyMsLizzy profile image95
      DzyMsLizzyposted 16 months agoin reply to this

      Actually, the first example states that the person loves his parents, who happen to be Bart Simpson and Miss Piggy.  I didn't know they got married!  Kermit must be devastated!  lol

      1. theraggededge profile image98
        theraggededgeposted 16 months agoin reply to this

        Exactly smile So, in certain cases, that little comma changes the meaning substantially.

    2. Venkatachari M profile image28
      Venkatachari Mposted 16 months agoin reply to this

      Yes, I know this fact. It is placed before "and" or before "or". That is why I am fascinated by it.
      Anyway, thanks for your elaboration as others can now become more clear if any having doubts. People can certainly confuse the names to be of their parents mentioned in that above line.

    3. eugbug profile image98
      eugbugposted 16 months agoin reply to this

      I would use a colon for the first example:

      "I love my parents: Bart Simpson and Miss Piggy."

      ....but never use the Oxford comma before 'and'.

      I don't know whether this is an acceptable use of the colon?

      As far as I recall, when I used an Oxford comma before 'and' on a couple of occasions in hubs, it was removed by editors.

    4. viryabo profile image88
      viryaboposted 16 months agoin reply to this

      +1

  5. Janda Raker profile image91
    Janda Rakerposted 16 months ago

    Yay! I'm so happy, about the Oxford comma! With a master's in English and maany years of teaching, participating in writers groups, and doing some editing, I ALWAYS espoused the Oxford comma. But since I've been writing for magazines and online, I've tried hard to leave it out, not always successfully. So now I'll feel more confident on HubpPages and use it where appropriate.

 
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