MMC Blog

Tips from the Grammar Guru: Oxford Comma

I love my parents, Beyoncé and Mark Zuckerberg.

Wait, what? Your parents are Beyoncé and Mark Zuckerberg? Well, no…

Instances like these are when oxford comma purists gloat and rejoice. The oxford (or serial) comma is the final comma used in a list of things, like this: “I love my parents, Beyoncé, and Mark Zuckerberg.”

To remain stylistically correct here at Michael Mackenzie, we follow the guidelines published by the Associated Press Stylebook. The book advocates against the comma’s use unless it’s necessary to make the meaning clear. Its overarching principle is that less punctuation is better. If a comma is needed for clarity, use one. If not, don’t. Many people, however, defend it tirelessly. Even if it can be useful for “clarity,” an articulate writer can easily restructure their sentences, so their message is clear without it.

Observe the following: “I love Beyoncé, Mark Zuckerberg and my parents.” See? Easy. Remember these simple rules to avoid unnecessary mistakes in your writing.

This post courtesy of MMC Summer 2019 Intern Bianca Price.

Recent Posts

Scroll to Top