Full Dis-Chlo-Sure: The awful Oxford

If you’re literate, you shouldn’t need an extra comma to hold your hand.

<p><strong>Emily Wright, DN Illustration</strong></p>

Emily Wright, DN Illustration

Chloe Fellwock Rebecca Slezak, DN

Chloe Fellwock is a sophomore advertising major and writes “Full Dis-Chlo-sure” for The Daily News. Her views do not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper. 

Does it ever just hit you out of nowhere how little you actually know about someone until a difference comes up? 

I experienced something like this recently. 

My whole life, I’ve been an English nerd. Science and math caused many a night of tears at the dining table. My love for English went so deep that whenever we read classic literature in class, I was one of the only people who genuinely enjoyed it — or at least who showed it openly. 

I listen to NPR word games with my dad. When I was younger, I found those “I’m Silently Judging Your Grammar” shirts funny. I’m by no means saying I am special for liking English, but I’m definitely a word wench. 

When I came to college, I had no strong feelings about the Oxford comma, but college is a time where people change. I didn’t realize how deeply I hated it until my friends and I were talking, and I realized just how passionate they are about that thing. If you ask my friends, the Oxford comma makes a sentence more balanced, that lists look wrong without one. 

I’m going to be honest, this obstinate fixation of pretty sentences has me heated.

Oxford commas aren’t necessary whatsoever. They take up time and space, two laws I feel all people should respect as long as we live. And because we live in a capitalist society, time is money. So, when you put that stupid little vertical dash on the page to make it pretty, you’re wasting money in a time where the national deficit is already huge. 

And if you dug a hole to fit everyone’s debt, the earth would be sucked into a space vacuum because it’d go right through the earth. Don’t bother fact checking that, it’s ridiculous and would take up way too much time to verify. Leave that to me. I can fact check outrageous claims with all the time I’ve saved by not using Oxford commas. 

It’s also unnecessary for the purpose of reading fluidity. If you’re literate, or if you’ve ever spoken, you know you’re supposed to pause before listing the last item. 

I know what you are thinking: “But Chloe, sometimes the lack of a comma indicates a pair being considered as a single item.” Oh, gosh, wouldn’t that be awful if you had to use some critical thinking to figure out which is which. What a shame to be required to use context. Please, just grow up. 

Not only that, the Oxford comma is deemed improper in AP Style. And, honestly, it’s tragic people who aren’t part of the journalistic world are in the dark about this. AP Style is the nationally-recognized, standardized style for journalistic writing. So, if you want to read the news and be an informed citizen, you’ll have to suck it up. 

In conclusion, the Oxford comma is an unnecessary, show-offish and elitist punk, and I am formally requesting a fight with the Oxford comma itself. I’ll meet up anytime before the conjunction at the end of any list. 

But because it’s such a preppy little twerp, I can almost guarantee it won’t be there. 

Contact Chloe Fellwock with comments at cfellwock@bsu.edu and on Twitter @helloitchlo.


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