Delicious articleEdit

This article is delicious. Thanks to the writer(s). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 02:27, July 1, 2005. Please sign your posts with ~~~~!


This whole essay completely ignores one of the reasons for including serial commas: to agree with speech pattern. What I mean is this: say to yourself that you want to buy eggs and meat and cheese without the first "and". More than likely you will say "eggs, meat, and cheese", where each comma represents a slight pause in speech. Obviously the purpose of a comma is not just to serve this function; nor indeed does a comma always indicate a pause. But this essay is incomplete without this fact included. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 20:47, July 25, 2006. Please sign your posts with ~~~~!

Then why don't you add it? --AStranger195 (talk) (guestbook) 04:44, July 18, 2015 (UTC)

North American Usage Edit

I wonder where the writer gets his or her notions about North American usage. Some citations here that support that idea that North American punctuation has not changed since the 19th century would be in order. This noted by someone (North American) who edits professionally[,] and who is somewhat skeptical of this claim. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 16:32, January 16, 2007. Please sign your posts with ~~~~!

Historical UsageEdit

This author lets their personal feelings about punctuation color the way they present history. Punctuation, and much else, is in fact more vibrant in the US because of a lack of centralized authority legislating against innovation. The claimed drive towards less punctuation, to the extent that such exists, has been driven largely by journalistic concerns about space, and can be expected to retreat with the advent of limitless electronic print. Furthermore, what the author depicts as advances in style appear to me as limitations: take the fun, well-cadenced sentence about Charles I which the essayist rewrites clumsily, and then claims to have improved. The author should be crucified, boiled in oil, tarred and feathered! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 04:18, June 12, 2007. Please sign your posts with ~~~~!

Oxford Comma CommentEdit

Thanks for this very interesting write-up on the Oxford comma...I wish you were my English teacher all those years...I learned quite a bit - not just telling right from wrong, but why ... annnnnd examples!! Nicely written. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 20:57, November 7, 2008. Please sign your posts with ~~~~!

This essay needs to be rewritten so as not to appeal to punctuation in general - or when it does to refer to a separate essay. The need to even mention esthetics on the subject of the so-called Oxford comma is questionable. I can understand it with regard to how a comma relates to quotes, but even there is seems associated more with layout.
I am appalled that one so articulate does not seem to know the difference between a hyphen and a dash. Maybe HTML is getting in the way. Then there is the difference between an n-dash and an m-dash.
There are a number of clues that tell us the writer is clueless about North American habits. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 01:54, April 3, 2009. Please sign your posts with ~~~~!
The so-called "delicious" writing on the Oxford comma is mostly hokum. The main reason for using the Oxford comma is improved telegraphy. The writer of the article criticizing compulsory use of the Oxford comma seems to overlook something very fundamental. Making the use of the comma optional defeats its salubrious effect on telegraphy, that is, the adumbration of what is to come in a list of things. If we make its use compulsory, then the reader will not have to pause for even a millisecond to sort out a potential ambiguity. If the use of the Oxford comma is haphazard or optional, the reader may be forced to reread a passage because there is the potential for ambiguity. Furthermore, writers are not always careful enough to see a potential ambiguity in their writing, and thus, if they use the Oxford comma consistently, they can prevent or make less probable an unintentional ambiguity from creeping in. I have this to say to the writer: Think more deeply. Is it possible that you are just simply...lazy? Why not make all grammar rules optional, since the writer knows what he wants to say, and the reader should see faithful communication as unnecessary. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 05:44, March 30, 2010. Please sign your posts with ~~~~!

More CommentsEdit

Another possible use of the Oxford comma which remains unmentioned is ensuring that each item in a series is of equal weight with the other objects. To omit the second comma in "burgers, fish and chips" or in "cats, dogs and mice" is to create separate groups. The words "fish and chips" are grouped together apart from "burgers"; the words "dogs and mice" are grouped together apart from "cats." The larger "groups" seem more important, and the emphasis falls on them. Adding the Oxford comma makes the items more equal.

Many places in the author's article are not punctuated correctly (with commas being inserted in between dependent clauses). This fact seems to lower the author's credibility. The author's revised punctuation of the Boxing Day passage is not even punctuated correctly; for instance, there are two missing hyphens and one wrongly placed comma. Furthermore, the author actually uses the Oxford comma right after saying not to do so: "The punctuation, rhythm, and style of writing are the tools with which the reader can be carried along; swept up in your conversation; encouraged to pause for thought or encouraged to follow along rapidly as you drive home your point."

The following statement is highly opinionated and somewhat irksome: "If you are a careful writer, and everyone who writes should seek so to be, you will not use the mandatory Oxford comma." The author appears to be implying that people who use the Oxford comma are not careful writers. It seems more likely that people who do not use the Oxford comma will turn out to seem to be careless--as noted above in this talk page, a writer might not always be careful enough to put in the Oxford comma in a case where it is definitely needed. Making the Oxford comma mandatory will help prevent ambiguity. Having a definite rule such as this would help beginning writers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 05:57, May 31, 2010. Please sign your posts with ~~~~!

Supporting references?Edit

Considering the certainty the author(s) of this present their ideas about North American usage with, there really shold be some supporting references provided. I am a native English speaker, and some of what is written on the Oxford Comma page does not ring true. I suggest what is written here about North American usage etc is incorrect, and that not all North Americans are equally fond of, or use, Oxford Commas. -- 01:21, September 3, 2012 (UTC)