Any struggling writer (redundant) will appreciate this quote from Oscar Wilde.
“I’m exhausted. I spent all morning putting in a comma and all afternoon taking it out.”
I have decided to stop trying. Let people think that my randomly placed commas are simply part of my ‘voice.’
One thought on “WILDE WAS RIGHT”
Opinions among writers and editors differ on whether to use the serial comma. In American English, a majority of style guides mandate use of the serial comma, including The MLA Style Manual, The Chicago Manual of Style, Strunk and White’s Elements of Style, and the U.S. Government Printing Office Style Manual. The Associated Press Stylebook and the Stylebook published by The Canadian Press for journalistic writing advise against it. According to The Oxford Companion to the English Language, “Commas are used to separate items in a list or sequence … Usage varies as to the inclusion of a comma before and in the last item … This practice is controversial and is known as the serial comma or Oxford comma, because it is part of the house style of Oxford University Press.” It is used less often in British English, but some British style guides require it, including the Oxford University Press style manual. Some, including Fowler’s Modern English Usage, use it only where necessary to avoid ambiguity.