Saturday, March 18, 2017

Comma Chameleon: Understanding the Oxford Comma

Audrey Hepburn could pose like a comma.
The Oxford comma (which I usually call the "serial comma") has been in the news this week. The lack of it in a sentence is, apparently, the key to winning or losing a lawsuit in Maine.

As someone who was born and bred in Canada, works as a copyeditor (and literature/journalism professor) in the United States, and writes for a (gorgeous) British magazine, my understanding is this:

In Canada and Great Britain, the Oxford comma is NOT used. In the United States, it IS used, EXCEPT in journalism.

It's confusing. Fortunately Boy George wrote the song "Comma Chameleon" to help us out (wink):

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