Give Hoot about Oxford Comma

Rosemary Hanson

Lists. They are very important in our day-to-day lives. We use them at work, at school, and even in text-messages. Yet there has been a shocking development when it comes to lists at Whitman College in the classroom, written publications, and public discourse.

It is the lack of the serial, Harvard, or Oxford comma.

This sacred, holy, and beautiful separation between the second to last word in the list and the “and” cannot be ignored, shunned, or maligned. I will not say, hint, or insinuate that it is a religious commandment, a holy sacrament, or a divine pronouncement that the comma should be in place because I would be being hyperbolic, sacrilegious, and my point may not be taken seriously. But I assure you I am in earnest, I am well versed on the topic, and I am RIGHT!

Now, some (including Whitman’s own newspaper) have turned away from this separation, this differentiation, and this clarification. This is a mistake, a miscalculation, and an oversight. If I write to tell my mother, father, or friends that I had chicken, hot sauce and cake for dinner, they will think that I was eating the hot sauce and cake together! Or if I write to tell her that I have dated George, Phil and Ronaldo, they will think me a sexual deviant, a bigamist, and a dabbler in a ménage a tois! The scandal, shock, and horror that would put them through!

And so I say, to hell, to heck, and to hades with, to, and for the naysayers, antagonists, and opponents to the Oxford comma. It shall, should, and must remain, stay, and thrive where, when, and how it is, was, and will be. And the Associated Press Style Book can suck it.