Story of the comma family: The Oxford, Harvard, and Serial comma
What is the difference between the Oxford, Harvard, and the Serial comma?
The Oxford comma (also known as Harvard comma or Serial comma) is the comma inserted just before the coordinating conjunction (usually ‘and’ or ‘or’, and sometimes ‘nor’) in the last item of a list of three or more items. For example: Gurpreet's blog is dedicated to Jack, Jill, Red Riding Hood, Captain Kirk, and Spock.
When to use the Oxford Comma?
I use a serial comma ONLY when it satisfies all the following three conditions:
It can be inserted just before the coordinating conjunction (usually ‘and’ or ‘or’, and sometimes ‘nor’)
It appears at the end of a list of three or more items.
It removes ambiguity in the sentence.
More information on Oxford comma:
I was taught in school not to use the Oxford comma but I often use it to remove ambiguity in the sentence. Where do you stand on the Oxford comma? Leave a comment and let me know.
- Gurpreet Singh
http://TechnicalWritingToolBox.com - A blog on Technical Writing