Wednesday, May 13, 2015

All Hail the Serial Comma

As an editor, from time to time I find I get a fair bit of push-back from authors who went to school during a particular era and were taught that you don't need to put a comma between the second to last item in a list and the word "and." Known as the serial comma, or Oxford comma, this piece of punctuation is not only part of the house-style of Chronicle Books, the fine publisher for which I work, but it is also one I personally feel quite strongly is very important for clarity of meaning. The above examples (grabbed by one of my colleagues from Facebook and so, alas, not sourced) hilariously point out why.

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