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What is the Oxford Comma?

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What is the Oxford Comma?

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There is often confusion about the use of correct punctuation and grammar; with the use, or omission, of the Oxford Comma being one of the most debated.

What is the Oxford Comma?

The Oxford comma is the final comma in a list of things. For example:

Features of the home include: open plan living, north facing deck, and double carport.

The Oxford comma comes right after north facing deck.

Use of the Oxford comma is stylistic, meaning that some style guides demand its use while others don’t. It is not essential to use it, nor is it incorrect not to use it; however, it can help make sense of a sentence that is listing multiple items or ideas; it can clearly separate the individual items. For example, if the sentence read instead (below):

Features of the home include: open plan living, north facing deck and double carport.

This could read that the double carport is also north facing, which may not necessarily be the case, or of any relevance. Using the Oxford Comma (or serial comma) can resolve ambiguity, and therefore is generally a better option, if in doubt.

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