Friday, April 28, 2017

serial comma

The serial comma (also called the Oxford comma) is the last comma before coordinating conjunction and the final item in a series. Its use is considered a matter of style and is cause for much debate. Many style guides require the serial comma and a few advice against it. There are times when it must be used to avoid confusion or ambiguity. For the sake of consistency, we recommend always using the serial comma. However, consult your style guide if you are uncertain.

Depending on the context, a missing serial comma may cause ambiguity. 
Are the brothers named Adam and Jane?

Incorrect We have received RSVPs from my brothers, Adam and Jane.
Correct We have received RSVPs from my brothers, Adam, and Jane.

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