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I have a serious bone to pick with this son-of-a-bitch, the Oxford Comma.
I have always been under the impression that when you write out a list, you do not put a comma after the last item, because in a list, the comma is like saying “and,” and if you have the word “and” after the word, you don’t also need the comma. The way I know it, it looks like this:
“Writing, crocheting, singing in the shower and eating inordinate amounts of junk food are my hobbies.”
However, I’m a substitute teacher and I spend most of my time in the elementary schools. Nowadays, they’re teaching the kiddos to put that comma there. The sentence would read:
“Writing, crocheting, singing in the shower, and eating inordinate amounts of junk food are my hobbies.”
At first I scoffed at the entire idea, because it goes against everything I’ve learned. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I’d also been taught that you generally place commas anywhere you would take a natural pause if you were speaking aloud. When I said any lists out loud, I realized that I do pause right before the word “and,” signifying that I should in fact put a comma there.
Different Google results give different answers. GOOGLE DOESN’T KNOW. Please tell me what you think in the comments, or share with your friends to see what they think before I go absolutely, positively, and absurdly nuts.