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    #1

    The Oxford Comma

    The Oxford Comma

    With the Oxford Comma

    We invited the women, JFK, and Stalin.

    Without the Oxford Comma

    We invited the women, JFK and Stalin.

    Do I need a comma after brother in the following sentence?

    It had been almost a year and a half since my mother took my sister, my brother and me to live with her parents in Fort Lauderdale after a major argument she had with my father.

    If I don't put a comma after brother, doesn't it make it sound like my sister is my brother and me?

    Thank you.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 01-Mar-2016 at 12:54. Reason: Removed formatting to make font readable.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The Oxford Comma

    It defies all logic that "your brother and you" could be "your sister."

    The original example is a poor one, since we all know JFK and Stalin are not women. However, if you said "those awful boys from our class, Jim and Steve" we might think Jim and Steve are the awful boys. Or if you said "We went with my sisters, Jane and Elizabeth" we might think Jane and Elizabeth are your sisters.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #3

    Re: The Oxford Comma

    The Oxford comma usually does no harm.

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    #4

    Re: The Oxford Comma

    Quote Originally Posted by FortOtt View Post
    If I don't put a comma after brother, doesn't it make it sound like my sister is my brother and me?
    It doesn't sound like that to me, and I tend to use the Oxford comma.

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    #5

    Re: The Oxford Comma

    There are times when the Oxford comma makes a list clearer.
    I am not a teacher.

  2. Skrej's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: The Oxford Comma

    My favorite example of Oxford comma clarification:

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails oxford-comma-stalin-jfk.jpg  
    Last edited by Skrej; 02-Mar-2016 at 00:00. Reason: redoing image
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: The Oxford Comma

    I can think of zero instances when uses it causes confusion. I can think of many when its omission causes confusion. Hence, I use it almost all the time.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #8

    Re: The Oxford Comma

    Quote Originally Posted by Skrej View Post
    My favorite example of Oxford comma clarification:

    I cannot open that link, Skrej. Can you put it some other way?

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    #9

    Re: The Oxford Comma

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    I cannot open that link, Skrej. Can you put it some other way?
    The link magically opened for me when I clicked "Like" on the post it first appeared in.
    I am not a teacher.

  4. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: The Oxford Comma

    For me too, it's more honoured in the observance than the breach.

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