The Irrefragable Superiority of the Oxford Comma #3

Whilst reading an article from Mental Floss (which, incidentally, has a list of arguments for and against the Oxford comma, the latter of which I will debunk in the future), I spotted a sentence which included a certain element that elucidates the supremacy of our lord and savior and the bane of its neglect: appositions.

Oh, you like to call them “appositives”? Then what’s the adjectival form of that? “Appositive”? I, too, love when a suffix indicates that a word can act as either an adjective or a noun. Or, when a word like “neglect” just decides to be both. English!

Anyway, here’s the sentence:

“There were once millwrights, tile-wrights and wheelwrights.”

While reading, I thought, “Huh, a millwright? A guy who makes mills? That must include the construction of a lot of things, such as, say…


With that in mind, one might assume that one who works as a millwright is, by definition, both a tile-wright and wheelwright, in the same manner that a general surgeon is a number of different types of surgeons. However, that’s incorrect. I think. I merely skimmed over information concerning the architecture of mills before feeling suicidally bored, so I’m just going to assume that millwrights, tile-wrights, and wheelwrights are distinct professions.

This was especially bothersome due to the article’s usage of the Oxford comma earlier in the passage, proving that, in contrast to what some “authorities” suggest, you can’t just disregard the comma habitually and then throw it in when it  happens to clear up ambiguity. However, that’s a subject for another time, because I’m gonna need hella articles to make this last.

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