Elitist, Superfluous, Or Popular? We Polled Americans on the Oxford Comma

by Rachel Baker on January 6, 2015

I love this article. I hate commas and sometimes, just like many, many other people, am never really sure where they go at all times.

Read more: Elitist, Superfluous, Or Popular? We Polled Americans on the Oxford Comma

There’s been a lot of ink spilled on the Oxford comma, the comma that goes before “and” in a list of three or more things. Is it a grammatical must or an unnecessary blight? (You’ve seen the insufferable and ahistoric comic of JFK and Stalin dressed as exotic dancers.) Grammatical experts have weighed in, but what does the average American think?

FiveThirtyEight and SurveyMonkey Audience ran a poll from June 3 to 5 asking 1,129 Americans which camp they fell into, and wouldn’t you believe it? We’re split on that comma.

We asked respondents which sentence was, in their opinion, more grammatically correct: “It’s important for a person to be honest, kind and loyal.” Or: “It’s important for a person to be honest, kind, and loyal.” The latter has an Oxford comma, the former none.

This article was written by: Rachel Baker – Click to Become a Patron or to follow on Twitter.

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