Why You Don’t Need To Use The Oxford Comma   Leave a comment

Apparently I’m out for blood on the internet today.

Do you ever question “facts” and “knowledge bombs” shared by your friends? Are you the type of person who just accepts them as truth? Or do you just say “interesting” or nod your head in agreement and forget about it 5 minutes later? Either way, you don’t have to use the Oxford Comma.

Here are some of the pictures circulated online showing examples of why you need to use the Oxford comma.


A quote from the preface or dedication page of a book: “Among those interviewed were Merle Haggard’s two ex-wives, Kris Kristofferson and Robert Duvall. This book is dedicated to my parents, Ayn Rand and God. Highlights of Peter Ustinov’s global tour include encounters with Nelson Mandela, an 800-year-old demigod and a dildo collector.”

635730031076583071326694264_presidents and rhinos

With the Oxford Comma: We invited the rhinoceri, Washington, and Lincoln. [Description: a picture of two rhinoceri, President Washington and President Lincoln.]

Without the Oxford Comma: We invited the rhinoceri, Washington and Lincoln [Description: a picture of both President Washington’s and President Lincoln’s heads superimposed on two rhinoceri]


Why I still use the Oxford comma.

With: I had eggs, toast and orange juice [Description: a picture of two eggs + toast + orange juice.]

Without: I had eggs, toast and orange juice. [Description: a crude drawing of a person saying “I had eggs” to a toast with a face, covered in orange juice, saying “OK.”]

635729985546797887-818574807_jfk and stalin

With the Oxford comma: We invited the strippers, JFK, and Stalin. [Description: A drawing of JFK, Stalin and two strippers.]

Without the Oxford comma: We invited the strippers, JFK and Stalin. [Description: A drawing of JFK and Stalin as strippers.]


See a pattern?

It’s the same example. The only different scenario is the toast and orange juice photo. Nevertheless, all of these scenarios can easily be understood given the context of the sentence.

Many have suggested that you rearrange words without using the Oxford comma.

Instead of “We invited the strippers, JFK and Stalin”

Do “We invited JFK, Stalin and the strippers.”

It still does its job and it’s grammatically accurate. However, if you don’t want to change the word placement and your intent is to invite the two-piece wearing JFK and nipple-tassel clad Stalin, you can use a colon.

“We invited the strippers: JFK and Stalin.”

Grammar is context-based. Oxford commas are still optional. You don’t need it. Unless you actually think Nelson Mandela broke bread with Methuselah and appreciated phallic stimuli or you hear voices and talk to orange-juice-covered toasts. Then by all means, use the Oxford comma. No judgments.

*walking away*

I’m done.



Posted February 21, 2016 by StupidSystemus in Rant

Tagged with , , ,

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