The Oxford Comma

Past, present, and future. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Whether it’s comedy, rhetoric, or literature, the ‘rule of three’ has been a writing technique since the days of Aristotle. It’s said that people remember things better this way, because of its short length, patterned delivery, and rhythmic catchiness. Beginning, middle, and end. Pathos, ethos, and logos. Veni, vidi, vici.

However, opinions differ on the final comma before the conjunction that connects the last two terms. It’s called the serial comma, or the Oxford comma. Associate Professor Roslyn Petelin, Course Coordinator at the School of Communication and Arts at the University of Queensland, is here to discuss.

You may also like