Friday, July 23, 2010

The Serial Comma

A friend sent me a link to the essay, "What It's Really Like to be a Copy Editor," wherein I found this little aside ...
Also, people will want to talk to you—outside of work—about grammar. Aside from the guy who called me “awkward, in a cute way,” I think the worst line I’ve heard was from the dude who asked my thoughts on the serial comma.
Comments were divided on its use, but I have never been able to write without using it. Apparently news organizations began dropping it from copy to save space and, I suppose, ink. 

My friend often uses the apocryphal example of the book dedication...

"To my parents, Ayn Rand and God."

... as an example of its necessity. For me, I prefer it because it completes a natural symmetry and thus perfects the rhythm of the words.

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