What Is the Oxford Comma or Serial Comma?

Writing is certainly a challenging and time-consuming task. A writer must possess the skill to play with the words to engage the targeted audience and convey the idea or information with efficacy. A firm grip on grammar is also vital to ensure flawlessness in your writing. To get this, learning the grammar rules and regulations is essential. 

English is certainly a tricky language that demands complete attention from an individual to get expertise in crafting content. Besides, expanding your knowledge about different aspects and elements of grammar is inevitable to succeed in the writing domain. Good grammar skills are necessary to write better.

Oxford comma or serial comma is something that always confuses English learners. Therefore, we select this topic for today’s blog post. 

In this blog, we will discuss the Oxford comma in detail with the help of different examples. So, read this blog post till the end to learn everything about the serial comma.

What is Oxford Comma? 

A serial comma or Oxford comma is a comma that is placed right after the penultimate term in the list of more than two things.

For instance: 

Please give me a pen, clipboard, and notebook.

In this example, the serial comma is placed right after the clipboard.

The serial comma is used in the same way in any list or series of items in which the junction is the word “or” or “nor.” 

Oxford Comma or Serial Comma? Are They Different? 

The Oxford Comma is also known as Serial Comma or Series Comma. So, all these terms are used for the same type of comma. But this term is majorly known as the Oxford Comma. This happened after Oxford University Press, a publishing house in Oxford, used it. The serial comma is also called a Harvard comma because of its famous use at Harvard University Press.

How to Check for Correct Use of Oxford Comma in a Sentence? 

Plagiarismchecker.co offers a free grammar checker that checks for all spelling or punctuation errors in a text and highlights any bug instantly. The advanced facility proofreads the uploaded text like an expert and eliminates mistakes. The assistance of this utility allows individuals to improve their writing skills. The advanced facility is also capable of detecting the incorrect use of a serial comma in a sentence. You can easily examine the correct use of the Oxford comma by entering the text on this facility.

Examples of Oxford Comma

The Oxford comma is widely used in blogs. However, most professional writers who are writing any content except news articles or students who are drafting an essay for school can use serial commas to enhance the readability of text.

 Examples

  • I like apples, oranges, and strawberries in a fruit salad.
  • Jake, Alia, and Kim are working in an IT firm.
  • You need to learn to prewrite, outline, edit, and revise skills to pass the first term.
  • Make sure you have purchased grapes, tomatoes, and lemons.
  • One, two, three, and Run! 

Different Perspectives About Oxford Comma

There are many instances where using the Oxford comma can confuse the readers. For example,

I love my brother, my cat, and my dog. 

In this sentence, the reader can perceive that you wanted to say that you love your brother, who is your cat, and your dog. But, the same sentence becomes different when we write it using the Oxford comma.

For example, I love my brother, my cat, and my dog. 

However, there are many people who oppose the Oxford comma and argue that restructuring an ambiguous phrase can eliminate the complexity and make the sentence clear just like the Oxford comma does. 

For some, the Oxford comma has become a debate. Those who oppose the Oxford comma argue that rephrasing an already unclear sentence can solve the same problems that using the Oxford comma does. 

Final Words

Certainly, there is a debate on the effectiveness of the Oxford comma. A number of people find it less useful and consider rephrasing ambiguous sentences as a better approach. On the other hand, most people seem to favor the use of the serial comma. So, it’s all about whether the writer uses it or not in the sentence. But we suggest you check for any punctuation errors after completing the text using a grammar check tool. This will also enable you to find if you have misplaced the Oxford comma in the sentence.

We hope this blog post will have helped you understand the term Oxford Comma and how you can use them in your sentences. Also, the examples used above will surely guide you about the correct use of a serial comma in a sentence.