The Oxford Comma

Are you aware of the Oxford Comma? I like using series of words in my titles and came through some posts that did not contain a comma before the last word. So, I thought of searching for an answer on which one is right. Found out that both can be used. Here’s the explanation from The Grammar Book.

The Grammar Book

Rule 1. Use commas to separate words and word groups in a simple series of three or more items.

Example: My estate goes to my husband, son, daughter-in-law, and nephew.

Note: When the last comma in a series comes before and or or (after daughter-in-law in the above example), it is known as the Oxford comma. Most newspapers and magazines drop the Oxford comma in a simple series, apparently feeling it’s unnecessary. However, omission of the Oxford comma can sometimes lead to misunderstandings.

Example: We had coffee, cheese and crackers and grapes.

Adding a comma after crackers makes it clear that cheese and crackers represents one dish. In cases like this, clarity demands the Oxford comma.

We had coffee, cheese and crackers, and grapes.

Fiction and nonfiction books generally prefer the Oxford comma. Writers must decide Oxford or no Oxford and not switch back and forth, except when omitting the Oxford comma could cause confusion as in the cheese and crackers example.

Daily Prompt by WordPress: Translate

Do you want to start your own blog?  How to Set Up a WordPress Blog

Feminine Themes for WordPress

Follow this blog on:

7 thoughts on “The Oxford Comma

  1. I have Grammarly in my browser and it always alerts me that I need to put comma in my sentence. But I did not mind it because I’m used of not putting comma if word is before “and”. But for you second example, it is important to put comma to avoid confusion.

  2. Wow! I didn’t know there’s a word such as Oxford comma. Although I know I use it sometimes (or maybe most of the time), but I never knew it was called that. Like Michi, I also have Grammarly installed on my browser. My guide coz I know I need one. lol.

  3. I’ve always used Oxford commas. It just makes more sense to me or maybe it’s because it was how I was taught to write way back in high school.

Share your thoughts: