09 October 2011

The Oxford Comma

Vampire Weekend has been one of my favorite bands since they launched their first album. I swear, they're not just on my cool playlist. If this was the age of LPs, their records would be super gasgas (scratched and overused) by now because everytime I open iTunes I invariably play their songs.

It was from VW that I first heard the term Oxford comma. They have a song which asks:

"Who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma?"

And I didn't get it! Even after I had played their album a hundred times, I didn't try to figure out what an oxford comma was. I just found it cool that they used the words lama and dharamsala in a song. Haha. I KNOW, I was in advanced english class in high school, I should have learned that, do not judge! (I should have also learned not to use a noun as a verb, or start my sentences with a preposition, or write terribly run on sentences, but still I do, bite me.) I only had reason to research it when I found this comic on Tumblr:

To people oblivious to the great debates about the oxford comma, the oxford comma is in simpler terms, a serial comma.

Like this:
I like books, coffee, and Star Wars.
Some people would argue the last comma is unnecessary and the sentence should simply be: I like books, coffee and Starwars. 

Even the Oxford University seems to have given up on the Oxford comma, to the uproar of many academic types and writers who are fans of the Oxford comma.

I had no idea what the Oxford comma was a week ago, but I realize using it has been my writing rule for years. It gives my sentences more symmetry. The comma also dictates my how I read my sentences, and I like having it to break the cadence of my words. And I personally think having Oxford commas around makes for less confusing sentences.

I like the Weasley twins, Ron and Hermione. 
Without the oxford comma it sounds like Ron and Hermione were the Weasley twins.

I like the Weasley twins, Ron, and Hermione. 
Less confusing right? (Yes, Harry, I like you too don't be a pansy.) 

Who gives a f*ck about the Oxford comma? I do. Since yesterday. Haha.


  1. I never realized I've been using the Oxford comma for years now. I didn't know it even has a name!

  2. I know! Me too! And most of my friends reacted the same way: "Oxford comma pala ang tawag dun?" Haha.

    I guess it's not that much of an issue here compared to the US where each university has its own set of guidelines for writing.

    Thanks for dropping by! :)


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