Grammar rules change daily. We learn about them two years later. If we’re lucky. Fortunately, we can keep track of those changes by using a style book.
Sometimes we have to switch style books. An academic journal that publishes my work only accepts manuscripts in Chicago Manual of Style. I didn’t think it was a big switch until I realized the Chicago Manual disagrees with the Associated Press on comma usage. Changing habits that go that deep is difficult.
If it surprises you that style rules depend on who dictates them, and the publication that adopts them, you don’t understand the history of language. The first standardized English dictionaries weren’t compiled until the eighteenth century. It’s only been within the last 150 years that we’ve tried to standardize American grammar.
The Oxford requires a comma before the last item in a list longer than two. For instance derby, mustache, and…
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