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Just when you thought you were safely out of the Oxford (serial) comma melee, it comes back to bite with the force of legal precedence.
“Lack of Oxford Comma Could Cost Maine Company Millions in Overtime Dispute”* is the headline for a recent New York Times article.
Folks on either side of this comma issue are firmly (and vocally) supportive. Most news agencies omit the last comma in a series. Most academic style guides require it to be there.
I’m not an advocate of putting commas in all over the place. (Just because you tend to pause doesn’t mean a comma belongs there.) However, I feel the consistent use of the Oxford comma prevents confusion. Really, in an age of electronic writing, what’s the reason for leaving it out?
No matter what side you are on, this law needed to be written more clearly. Here is the piece…
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