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Editbot and Commas in a List

  1. UnnamedHarald profile image92
    UnnamedHaraldposted 3 months ago

    Just a nit, but I see Editbot (I think it's Editbot doing this) enforces the comma before the "and/or" in a list. Example:

    Julie loves ice cream, books, and kittens.

    My understanding is that the comma before the "and" is optional and it seems to me that most usage in written works does not include that optional comma and I never use it. Example:

    Julie loves ice cream, books and kittens.

    Editbot seems to insist on using that extra comma. It would be nice if it was optional (as in all the comma rules I've seen. I don't bother changing it back and forcing the issue, but it looks clunky to my eyes. Like I said, this is just a nit.

    1. tomsmithnow profile image81
      tomsmithnowposted 3 months ago in reply to this

      I wondered about that too. I thought a comma was no longer needed before and in a list, like how it used to be, but I guess maybe it is more formal to include the comma there?

    2. kenneth avery profile image79
      kenneth averyposted 3 months ago in reply to this

      smile Unnamedherald, bravo! Thanks!

  2. Oscarlites profile image46
    Oscarlitesposted 3 months ago

    However, Mrs. Murphy, at the old Alabama Southern College, stressed that there is no comma required or needed before the "and" if there is a list of pronouns or consonants preceding.   She showed it to me in the teachers manual. The comma becomes criminal in that instance,(now comma necessary) and it is to be debated whether editbot can man up(no comma necessary) and prove his/her/its case.

  3. blueheron profile image96
    blueheronposted 3 months ago

    The placement of a comma before the "and" is a stylistic decision and not a rule of English usage. Back in the day, some style sheets said not to use a comma there, whereas others (like the Chicago Manual of Style) said to use it there. I learned awhile back that the Chicago Manual of Style no longer supports the use of the final comma, though there may still be style sheets that do. I think it is needed for clarity. Plus I cut my teeth on the old Chicago Manual of Style. As with all stylistic matters, the rule about the use of serial commas is that a piece of writing should be consistent throughout.

  4. blueheron profile image96
    blueheronposted 3 months ago

    I used to be a copy editor, back in the 1970s.

  5. theraggededge profile image95
    theraggededgeposted 3 months ago

    You do need the Oxford comma sometimes. We had a similar thread a couple of weeks ago.

    I love my parents, Marge and Homer.

    I love my parents, Marge, and Homer.

    Different meanings smile

    1. UnnamedHarald profile image92
      UnnamedHaraldposted 3 months ago in reply to this

      This is a perfect example. Without the comma, it seems to say that the parents' names are Marge and Homer, but, with the comma, it seems to say that the parents are loved as well as Marge and Homer. If Editbot forces the Oxford comma, the first case could not be written. That's why I believe the author should have the final say.

  6. Robin profile image
    Robinposted 2 months ago

    We use the APA guidelines for editing with HubPro.  Their guidelines enforce the Oxford or serial comma rule. 

    http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2011/ … ommas.html

    I would recommend using APA guidelines if possible.  It definitely helps us in the editing process.  smile

  7. blueheron profile image96
    blueheronposted 2 months ago

    I am a strong advocate of the Oxford comma rule. I think it is often essential for clarity.

  8. Janda Raker profile image82
    Janda Rakerposted 2 months ago

    Yes, this was discussed on another thread a couple of weeks ago, and the series comma is to be used here on HubPages. But now I'm curious. Why does HubPages use APA style? The American Psychological Association? What does that have to do with HubPages?

    1. theraggededge profile image95
      theraggededgeposted 2 months ago in reply to this

      Well spotted!