Sunday, March 30, 2014

Oxford Vampire comma revisited

Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend, talking to the Columbia University student publication Bwog:

“I’d seen there was this Facebook group at Columbia called Students for the Preservation of the Oxford Comma, and that was the first time I’d heard of an Oxford comma. And that appealed to me in a lot of ways, because it has Oxford in it, and I like anything Oxford: Oxford button-downs, Oxford University, all that stuff. But then the fact that it’s a comma, the combination of something like really regal and at the same time, absurd. I remember sitting at my parents’ piano, and that was the first thing that came to my mind: ‘Who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma?’”
The article’s writer lumps the Oxford or serial comma with “useless punctuation marks.” But as Bryan Garner’s Garner’s Modern American Usage points out, “virtually all writing authorities” outside of journalism recommend using the Oxford comma. Take that, journalism.

Here is Vampire Weekend’s “Oxford Comma.” And here is a discussion of punctuation with VW and Stephen Colbert. The comma talk kicks in at 2:42.

Related posts
How to punctuate a sentence (Includes the Oxford comma)
How to punctuate more sentences

comments: 2

The Crow said...

A blogging acquaintance recently wrote, "...the district ranger, a Clark Gable look-alike with a pencil-thin mustache named Dude..."

Never knew a man to name his moustache. Other body parts, yes, but never a moustache.

I've always had difficulty with commas, so I appreciate your 2007 post on writing sentences. Hope you don't mind that I've copied it to my writing files.

Michael Leddy said...

It’s meant to be shared. I’m glad you find it useful.