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Word Origin for Oxford comma
Words nearby Oxford comma
What does Oxford comma mean?
The Oxford comma is an optional comma added before and or or in a list of three or more things (e.g., one, two, and three vs. one, two and three).
People have … a lot of feelings about whether or not to use it.
How is Oxford comma pronounced?[ oks-ferd kom–uh ]
Where does Oxford comma come from?
The Oxford comma takes its name from its use as house style at the Oxford University Press (OUP) in Oxford, England since 1978. Harvard University Press also insists on the comma in its materials, so the punctuation is sometimes known as the Harvard comma stateside.
The point of the comma is to reduce ambiguity in a series, the absence of which can lead to some amusing situations (e.g., Top stories: World leaders at Mandela tribute, Obama-Castro handshake and same-sex marriage date set …). Enough said.
Technically, the Oxford comma is optional in English. The Chicago Manual of Style and, of course, the Oxford Style Manual, require the Oxford comma in lists of three or more things. Others, like the Associated Press Stylebook and The New York Times, nix it because they see it as extraneous. Yet others, like The Guardian Style Guide, recommend the Oxford comma only when it clears up a potential confusion. Some non-English-language writing conventions also get rid of the Oxford comma, like French.
How is Oxford comma used in real life?
Whether or not to use the Oxford comma is the subject of heated debate—at least among us style and grammar nerds. Rockers Vampire Weekend flashed their prep-school cred in their 2008 song, “Oxford Comma.” In it, they ask “Who gives a f*** about an Oxford comma?” The answer, apparently, is just about everyone.
While it might be optional, not using the Oxford comma has sometimes had serious consequences. Because an Oxford comma was lacking from a Maine law, a dairy lost a case and had to pay out a $5 million settlement to its employees. The judge David J. Barron noted, “For want of a comma, we have this case.”
The canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of:
(1) Agricultural produce;
(2) Meat and fish products; and
(3) Perishable foods.
More examples of Oxford comma:
“If your boss hates the oxford comma, then for goodness sake, drop the oxford comma.”
—Roger Dean Duncan, Forbes, May, 2018
This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.
Example sentences from the Web for Oxford comma
Seventy-two adults between the ages of 18 and 50 are participating in the trial, led by the pediatrics department at Oxford.
His Oxford shirts and matching boxers are, needless to say, woven.The Photographer Who Gave Up Manhattan for Marrakech|Liza Foreman|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST
His next book is Government against Itself: Public Union Power and Its Consequences (Oxford) due out in January 2015.
But my goodness, even the air around Oxford University is studious.
Denton, who speaks in the clipped cadence of the Oxford-educated Brit he is, has built quite a castle.The Gospel According to Nick Denton—What Next For The Gawker Founder?|Lloyd Grove|December 14, 2014|DAILY BEAST
A copy of Tendall's testament sold at Oxford for 20 guineas, supposed to be the only copy of that edition unburned by Tonstall.
The Ashmolean museum, at Oxford, England, founded for the purpose of receiving the antiquary's "twelve cartloads of rarities."
A student, showing the Museum at Oxford to a party, among other things produced a rusty sword.
Robert Harley, earl of Oxford, died; an English statesman and literary character.
It is but 50 miles from Bristol, and not so much as 100 miles from Oxford, and the coach passes very near this place.Life of Richard Trevithick, Volume II (of 2)|Francis Trevithick