I tend to not write about controversial topics, but in spirit of the U.S presidential election 2016, I will also pretend to be an expert (of English grammar instead). The Oxford comma, also known as the serial comma (and lesser known as the Harvard comma) is perhaps one of the most contentious issues plaguing English grammarians and other academics. And while a majority is opposed to what they regard as a blasphemy of a punctuation mark, there seems to be, at least to me, a growing minority in support of the Oxford comma.
Let me first explain to you what the Oxford comma is, if you don’t know it just yet. It is a comma placed right after the last word in a list of things – which is also right before the “and”. Like this: I had salad, fries, cheese, and cola for lunch. And this is in opposition to: I had salad, fries, cheese and cola for lunch. Did you notice the missing comma here? Good. For some people, this missing comma could be confusing because it may imply that I had my cheese mixed with cola.
Here’s why the Liberals are in favour of and I’ll explain this confusion using a popular picture that has been circulating the Internet for a while now:
My stance on this? I will fight to death my freedom to use the Oxford comma. It is easier to put a comma rather than to rephrase sentences, especially when they get complicated at times. And to all the teachers and professors who kept deleting them from my essay drafts: they were there for a reason! As for the rest of you, vote for the Oxford comma. Unless you eat your cheese mixed with cola. Ew.