Oxford comma with nonessential phrases

So, I’ve got the following list containing a nonessential phrase (“ultimately”), non-Oxford comma: stifling curiosity, creativity and, ultimately, progress. Is it then correct, when converted to an Oxford comma, to end up with this monstrosity? stifling curiosity, creativity, and, ultimately, progress. Answer Yes. You are applying two distinct comma guidelines consistently: The commas around a … Read more

Please, is a comma required after the word ‘lists’?

I have written many poems, topped lists and helped other poets. Also, is a comma required after the word ‘wells’ here? I spent years trimming flowers, digging wells and doing dishes. Answer the comma you mention is known as the Oxford Comma. Users of the English language have traditionally been split into opposing camps over … Read more

Is the solution of the Maine Legislature to the Oxford Comma Case…..clunky?

The Oxford Comma Case (Oakhurst Dairy in Portland, ME vs its drivers) has been settled for five million dollars. According to The New York Times The relatively small-scale dispute gained international notoriety last year when the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled that [a] missing comma created enough uncertainty to side … Read more

What’s the best way to solve this run on sentence (lots of “and”s)?

I have to change a description for something in our app, and I was given this sentence: Create, edit and delete camera assignments and camera and DVR settings. Now the lack of an Oxford comma is obviously going to need to be updated, but I’m having some trouble with the subject of the sentence. camera … Read more

Can I use a comma before an ampersand?

Question Can I use a comma (,) before an ampersand (&)? If no, then why not? Example The same products attracted all European countries to India: spices, silk, & cotton. Answer By way of supplementing Mari-Lou A’s answer, I note that Chicago Manual of Style is by no means alone in asserting that there should … Read more

Should there be a comma in this sentence?

In the introduction to The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins there is the following sentence: “The correct word of the title to stress is ‘gene’ and let me explain why.” I thought that since and connects two independent clauses — 1) “the correct … is ‘gene’” 2) “let me explain why” — there should be … Read more

Quoting text that omits Oxford commas in a paper that includes Oxford commas

I’m writing a paper, and I quote several lists from a source that doesn’t use Oxford commas. Sic seems way too strong for the situation, since there’s no real error in the quotes, just a different convention. I could change my own paper to be consistent with the quotations, but then what would I do … Read more