It's clear to me what has happened. The university is in financial trouble and have decided to raise money by selling the famous comma to an un-named Russian oligarch.
I blame my English teachers, mom and the secretary of education for my needing to look up what the heck the Oxford comma was.(there's a joke in there for literate people)
This is bullshit. The Oxford comma was the last bastion of clarity and precision in an increasingly discombobulated language. And now it has fallen. It will be particularly missed in legal and technical writing, where it is sometimes impossible to shorten long phrases -- in any case where several long phrases need to be strung together in a list, the Oxford comma is an invaluable bulwark against incoherence.
This is just another sign of the decline of our language. For example, how many words have been taken out of the common lexicon? Worse yet, is that they have been replaced by 'words' such as 'ZOMG' and 'LOL'.
they can pry my oxford comma from my cold, dead hands...
I'm still going to use it. Screw those guys.
I looked into this more, and it's not really something to get worked up about. The website you link to is for the UO public affairs office (they make stationary, signs, etc.), NOT the official UO press style guide.Whew!
F 'em! I will use the serial comma until the day I die! How else are we supposed to clarify sentences like the following: "I'd like to thank my parents, God and Ayn Rand."
To be fair, the article you liked to doesn't say you MUST stop using the Oxford comma, though I understand why some of you folks are upset.That said, I must confess that I am, in my own small way, part of the "problem" here. For while in my role as a teacher of college composition I always teach students to use the Oxford comma (because you must learn the rules properly before you break them), I tend not to use it (except for clarity) in my own writing. It has just never "looked right" to me. Please don't hate me!(and thanks for the update on this matter.)
All I have to say is:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_i1xk07o4g
p.s. I too am a former university composition and lit. instructor, and as long as folks are consistent and intelligible I could care less which "conventions" they use or don't use.
Those of us who actually write in English can and should continue to use the proper serial comma. Meaning comes from both words and punctuation; those who opt to make language ambiguous do so at their peril.What really torques me up about this is that the OED was one of only two definitive sources that supported the use of the serial comma. I have had more debates about this than any sane human should, but as an English Lit BA, I stand firm. Now I have only Strunk and White to rely on. F the OED.
*shrug* I long ago accepted that my manner of writing would increasingly be viewed as "old fashioned" by the world at large. Don't get me wrong: the decline of the use of the serial comma does bug me, but then I'm also bugged by the fact that most men don't wear (non-baseball) hats anymore. Such is life in a fallen world.
Wow, this cleared up a lot of things for me! I swore up and down that I was taught to write this way (using the Oxford comma), but I almost never saw anyone else do it. I was beginning to question my own sanity, but this clears it up for me. I will continue to use this very special comma, and can now call myself a rebel for doing so, which is pretty awesome.Now the next thing I have to figure out is concerning typing addresses. I swear I was taught to put two spaces between the state abbreviation and the zip code, but even Microsoft Word tells me I am wrong. Am I doing it wrong? Granted, the class I learned it in was typing (with actual Smith-Corona typewriters). Perhaps the style went away with the device.