Confused about comma use? Check this out.
As a writing professor, I receive a lot of free grammar handbooks. Most of these, enumerate the rules of comma usage to a degree that even I find daunting. Most list at least eight rules. Several list over ten. One contains twenty-four rules for proper comma usage.
Today, I will set the record straight for the weary student. In my opinion, one needs only three rules to rule [almost] all commas.
Rule One: Lists
It is no secret that commas separate items in a list.
I eat raw oysters, blanched squid, and seared salmon.
The only challenge comes from that final comma, known to experts as the Oxford comma and made famous by Vampire Weekend’s song by that name. The song begins, “who gives a fuck about the Oxford comma?” The answer is: I do. And although it is not required, I believe that omitting the Oxford comma shows a lack…
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