Grammar’s Great Divide: The Oxford Comma Debate [Video]


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If you read “Bob, a DJ and a clown” on a guest list, are three people coming to the party, or only one? That depends on whether you’re for or against the Oxford comma — perhaps the most hotly contested punctuation mark of all time. When do we use one? Can it really be optional, or is there a universal rule? TED-Ed explores both sides of this comma conundrum.

[TEDed]





One Response to Grammar’s Great Divide: The Oxford Comma Debate [Video]

  1. Perhaps use semicolons correctly?

    Bob; a DJ; and a clown. — 3 people
    Bob, a DJ and a clown. — 1 person
    Bob, a DJ; and a puppy. — 2 people (well, one’s a puppy).

    It doesn’t determine whether or not to use the Oxford, but it does defeat the issues involved in sticking to the choice consistently. The only objection levied in the video that still stands is the clutter argument – and that’s not an argument about grammar. We should not be letting journalists dictate to us what is and is not correct writing practice on appeal to their conveniences; have you seen their use of one sentence ‘paragraphs’?