What Does The Oxford Comma Mean?

What is the Oxford comma rule?

To give the Oxford comma its technical definition, it is a comma used before the final conjunction in a list of three or more items.

When you’re writing a list, you naturally include commas to separate each item, but an Oxford comma is when you also put a comma before the “and [Final Item]”..

Are Oxford commas grammatically correct?

An Oxford, or serial, comma is the last comma in a list; it goes before the word “and.” Technically, it’s grammatically optional in American English. However, depending on the list you are writing out, omitting it can lead to some confusion.

Why is the Oxford comma important?

The Oxford comma is the final comma before the conjunction (e.g., and, or) in a series. … It’s important to include Oxford commas in your writing because, in English, we also use what are called “commas of direct address” to separate what we’re saying from the person/object we’re addressing.

When should you not use an Oxford comma?

Don’t switch back and forth in the same document between using the Oxford comma and not using it. By the way, this rule only applies to lists of three or more items. You should not use a comma before and if you’re only mentioning two qualities.

Is it grammatically correct to put a comma before and?

1. Use a comma before any coordinating conjunction (and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet) that links two independent clauses.

Who uses the Oxford comma?

The word comma comes from the Greek word koptein, which means “to cut off.” The Oxford comma has been attributed to Horace Hart, printer and controller of the Oxford University Press from 1893 to 1915, who wrote Hart’s Rules for Compositors and Readers in 1905 as a style guide for the employees working at the press.

What are these called in English?

There are 14 punctuation marks that are commonly used in English grammar. They are the period, question mark, exclamation point, comma, semicolon, colon, dash, hyphen, parentheses, brackets, braces, apostrophe, quotation marks, and ellipsis.

Does the Chicago Manual of Style use the Oxford comma?

Q. Chicago, APA, and other style guides for US English require a comma before the conjunction in a series of three or more items, per Strunk and White. And since it is commonly called the Oxford comma, it seems the British have been onto it for a while as well. …

series of three or more words, phrases, or clauses. Although the serial comma is optional in many other types of writing, you should use it in legal and business writing because it is more precise. … Two items are not a series and do not ordinarily require a comma before the conjunction.

Why the Oxford comma is bad?

Relying on the Oxford comma for list-making may be clarifying, but it often interferes with good composition. Assuming the example phrase is humorous, the humor relies on the incongruity between thanking one’s parents and thanking a pair of fictitious superheroes.

Why don t journalists use the Oxford comma?

You listen to the stylebook that you follow. Newspapers, in general, do not use the serial comma. The Associated Press Stylebook says to use a serial comma only when leaving it out would cause confusion. Many book publishers use it, including Oxford University Press, which is why it’s also called the Oxford comma.

Is the Oxford comma required in MLA?

Even in a poorly written sentence, the Oxford comma ensures that the meaning is clear. The Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA), Chicago Manual of Style (CMS), and Oxford University Press all support the Oxford comma.