As mentioned in a certain previous article, the prospect of logicality proves essential to a multitude of grammatical dilemmas. The inherent logic of the Oxford comma, of course, is the reason for which so many arguments can be made in its favor. Also important, however, is that logic itself, not merely its implications.
The first reason for which logicality is significant, as stated in that aforementioned article, is that it promotes unity of the English language. See this image of a colonial-era poster for a few examples:
Some fine fellows took it upon themselves to do away with a number of illogical conventions that appear above, fortunately. We can thank John Bell in particular for the abandonment of the dreadful long s. The unnecessary appendages evident at the end of words such as “fruite” have also, of course, fallen out of usage. These dramatic reforms could only be carried out with the help of the general population’s rationality, their recognition of the fact that such conventions were insensible.
As I’m sure you know, there’s still plenty of work to be done, but my intention has never been to perfect the English language, but to make it suck less.
Anyway, allow me to present another proof to the logicality of the Oxford comma: It accords with the cadence of a list when spoken. When one says, “I woke up, got dressed, and ate my breakfast,” the pause between “dressed” and “and” is of the same length as the one between “up” and “got.” This is because both of those areas contain commas, and one cannot be expected to make a pause where an imaginary comma exists. And, if somebody were to disregard that due pause, it would seem as though “got dressed” and “ate my breakfast” were meant to be combined into one item, like “rock and roll.”
In addition to what I stated above, that this is important because it promotes unity of the English language, this particular aspect is in harmony with a few other grammatical conventions. One’s speech is recorded as it is, not how one wants it to be. For instance, when quoting somebody who makes a grammatical error, the term sic is used, because to do otherwise could give an inaccurate representation of the meaning of that person’s speech in addition to an inaccurate representation of what was actually spoken.
You know who deserves a pat on the back or a Nobel Prize in Literature (somewhere within that range) for a relevant pun? Martha Brockenbrough for her title Things That Make Us (Sic): The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar Takes on Madison Avenue, Hollywood, The White House, and the World. Incidentally, the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar-sponsored holiday National Grammar Day is on March 4th. Mark your calendar and stock your arsenal of pedantry.
I’ve always used the Oxford Comma, despite being taught not to in school, because it made more sense to me. My peers always told me what I was doing was grammatically incorrect, but you’ve shown me that there are also others who believe in the Oxford Comma’s correctness. You make me feel like I’m a better person than the chumps who don’t use the Oxford Comma, so thanks. I’m glad I stumbled upon your articles
also i look forward to reading your guys’ translation of noble works i guess
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and i fucking missed a period god dammit
Your effort is an inspiration to superior grammarians everywhere. Continue doing the Lord’s [Oxford comma’s] work.
I’m glad you have your priorities straight, too. Everybody knows I’m only involved in the Nobel☆Clerks thing to garner additional support for the Oxford comma.
Very nice ppost
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