An ode to the Oxford Comma

I love the Oxford Comma. The comma that comes between and, and the word after and, or the comma before that or.

I think it improves clarity. And when I’m proof reading a non-Oxford user’s text I constantly have to resist the urge to plug them in.

The Oxford Dictionary’s entry on the Oxford Comma (linked above) says:

“It’s known as the Oxford comma because it was traditionally used by printers, readers, and editors at Oxford University Press. Not all writers and publishers use it, but it can clarify the meaning of a sentence when the items in a list are not single words…”

I actually think it improves clarity in all circumstances. Not just when you’re writing a sentence about a list of meal options. Like Pizza, fish and chips, and McDonalds. But before all final ands. It just looks nicer.

Recipe for disaster

Proofreading is a tough ask. But it pays to pay attention – just ask Penguin Books

An Australian publisher has had to pulp and reprint a cook-book after one recipe listed “salt and freshly ground black people” instead of black pepper.

I think I speak for all of us when I say “fail”…