Yes, I am a Comma Queen

I guess that makes me a grammar nerd, in addition to my other nerdly titles.  That’s ok for a guy who wrote at the Yale School of Drama.  But then this is about another school, the so-called Oxford (Dictionary) comma.  You know, the controversy about whether you stick a comma before the last term in a series – “Me, myself, and I” vs. “Me, myself and I”.

You have to have the final piece of the punctuation pie.  Really, how stupid does that phrase look without your friendly neighborhood comma, man?

That’s what I learned growing up.  Like a good adult I’ve questioned that orthodoxy and found it still all good.  It’s easy to learn, easy to read, and logical.  What’s not to love?  But journalism rags like AP and the New York Times have eschewed the lowly comma for the questionable esthetics of minimalism and mystery.

Now Oxford itself (University) is chucking it.  Read more here.   Well, they’re entitled to their (wrong) opinion.  But they’ll have to pry that mark from my cold, dead hands.  And keyboard.

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2 Responses to “Yes, I am a Comma Queen”


  1. 1 Kenton July 6, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Hi Marc,

    Thanks for bringing this critical watershed event to my attention. I’m not usually one to jump in and rally for the underdog, but in this case, I am in total agreement with you. This is probably the last bastion of proper English punctuation. Their not to smart over at Oxford if they bail on there own creation.

    I’ve become accustomed to those who say “their always right” and “your an idiot” but I have come to rely on the Oxford comma to determine core intelligence. Now I’m at a loss. I’m going to miss that little bugger – but maybe it is not to late.

    Keep up the good fight.

  2. 2 howard gunn July 8, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Well, I am not sure, but I think, the use of commas should be reduced, to reflect the inability to do place them, use them correctly and leave a good imporession.

    My spell corrected version of the comment where I left out the verb and had two periods.


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