Ode to the Serial (Oxford) Comma
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My Brain is Made of Merchandise.
In our Editorial Community at work today we were debating the serial comma* (of course we were...what else would writers and editors be doing?), and the conversation turned toward how Chicago has dubbed Thursday "Talk Like Shakespeare Day."
I took about 6 minutes and combined the two topics into these little ditties, which I call "Ode to the Serial Comma":
Ode to the Serial Comma, Pt. 1
‘Tis but thy serial comma that is my enemy;
Thou art punctuation, though not an agreed upon one.
What’s agreed? It is nor placement, nor style,
Nor usage, nor style guide, nor any other part
Belonging to a keyboard. O, be some other keystroke!
What’s in a name? That which we call a comma
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Writer would, were he not Writer call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Writer, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all thy commas.
--- Kara DeFrias, paraphrasing Juliet in Romeo and Juliet
Ode to the Serial Comma, Pt. 2
He that uses a serial comma is more than a youth
And he that uses no serial comma is less than a man.
--- Kara DeFrias, paraphrasing Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing
* Because God knows the AP Style Guide, Chicago Manual of Style, The Elements of Style (Strunk and White), and even APA can't agree on this one.