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Posted: 2/1/2011 9:53:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2011 9:54:08 AM EDT by Apollos]
When listing items in a series, separated by commas, I say a comma does go between the next-to-last item and the word "and."

For example, if I were listing the stuff in a cheeseburger I would write:


The burger will have lettuce, onions, tomato, pickles, and bacon.


as opposed to:


The burger will have lettuce, onions, tomato, pickles and bacon.


I consider each piece a separate idea and, thus, should be kept separate by commas. It even becomes especially problematic when you're referring to a series of, say, ideas or concepts.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 9:54:32 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 9:55:09 AM EDT
Grammar advice in GD?

Link Posted: 2/1/2011 9:55:24 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 9:55:26 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 9:55:37 AM EDT
Originally Posted By sd_norske:
Grammar advice in GD?



haha good point
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 9:55:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2011 9:58:08 AM EDT by stockshift]
I believe Strunk & White's "The Elements of Style" prefers the second method over the first.

Edit: no, I am wrong.


In a series of three or more terms with a single conjunction, use a comma after each term except the last.

Thus write,

red, white, and blue
gold, silver, or copper


Link Posted: 2/1/2011 9:56:21 AM EDT
Originally Posted By sd_norske:
Grammar advice in GD?



That's where all the Nazis are.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 9:57:21 AM EDT
I was always taught not to use a comma before "and".
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 9:58:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2011 10:00:01 AM EDT by Gabriel11808]
Originally Posted By Apollos:
When listing items in a series, separated by commas, I say a comma does go between the next-to-last item and the word "and."

For example, if I were listing the stuff in a cheeseburger I would write:


The burger will have lettuce, onions, tomato, pickles, and bacon.


as opposed to:


The burger will have lettuce, onions, tomato, pickles and bacon.


I consider each piece a separate idea and, thus, should be kept separate by commas. It even becomes especially problematic when you're referring to a series of, say, ideas or concepts.



The second way is the more common way of writing it.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 9:59:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Both are accepted and correct forms. I think the former is called the Oxford comma.

The former is how I was taught in the UK.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 9:59:11 AM EDT
the first way is how i was taught, but i am an ancient person.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 9:59:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Both are accepted and correct forms. I think the former is called the Oxford comma.

This is how I learned 30 years ago.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 9:59:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2011 9:59:58 AM EDT by Apollos]
Originally Posted By CTRob65:
I was always taught not to use a comma before "and".


were you taught to put the period outside of the quotes too?

Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:00:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2011 10:00:46 AM EDT by magnum_99]
I agree with you that "..., pickles and bacon" is distinct from ...pickles, and bacon."

", pickles and bacon" is now a unit rather than distinct sub-units.

The difference can have legal ramifications in contract disputes.

The ideas are NOT the same.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:00:25 AM EDT
I just asked the same question to a newspaper editor the other day and she said both are acceptable.

Then I asked her which she uses, and she said as per AP standard, the last comma in question should be left off.

Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:01:40 AM EDT
early in school i was taught the 1st way; then later in school i was told that was wrong and the 2nd way was correct
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:01:40 AM EDT
It is called, amongst other things, the Oxford comma. There are times it is necessary and times it is optional. Some use it other don't. I am a user, but there are no true authorities on grammar. Generally, it is necessary when NOT using it would result in confusion.

I use it when I say "The flag is red, white, and blue" even though it is NOT needed for clarity. But, to steal a phrase, it is needed in such sentences as "I wrote a letter to my parents, Ayn Rand and God" (unless, of course you are the child of Ms. Rand and God....)


Check out Grammar Girl for a cool podcast on it at http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/serial-comma.aspx
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:01:57 AM EDT
The extra comma would be fine if commas were a renewable resource.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:02:43 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Both are accepted and correct forms.


Correct.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:03:09 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Apollos:
When listing items in a series, separated by commas, I say a comma does go between the next-to-last item and the word "and."

For example, if I were listing the stuff in a cheeseburger I would write:


The burger will have lettuce, onions, tomato, pickles, and bacon.


as opposed to:


The burger will have lettuce, onions, tomato, pickles and bacon.


I consider each piece a separate idea and, thus, should be kept separate by commas. It even becomes especially problematic when you're referring to a series of, say, ideas or concepts.


It's optional..Correct to use either way

Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:03:49 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:05:34 AM EDT
Back in the day when type had to be set by hand, every character had a cost associated with it, so it became common to omit the serial comma.

Now that there is no cost associated with the serial comma, it's best to use it.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:07:57 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Taboot:
The extra comma would be fine if commas were a renewable resource.

Peak commas!!!

OHTEHNOESWTFSHTFBBQ!!!
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:09:14 AM EDT
The way I see it, if you took out the rest of the sentence the first example would not be correct.

"The burger will have pickles, and bacon."

You wouldn't write that, so I think it should not be that way even if you added more ingredients.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:09:15 AM EDT
Originally Posted By CTRob65:
I was always taught not to use a comma before "and".


Me too.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:10:48 AM EDT
I use the comma, because I think it makes the list more clear at separating each item.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:14:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By forker:

Now that there is no cost associated with the serial comma, it's best to use it.

The series flows so much better with the serial comma!

I can see the deficiency in education and learning when people ask these questions with the assumption that there are set-in-stone rules about commas. Commas exist to facilitate the flow of the sentence. A writer should strive to understand rhythm, meter, and the importance of properly locating a pause in a sentence according to what the sentiments demand, and not be a robot who writes according to strict rule.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:15:01 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Freefire:
I just asked the same question to a newspaper editor the other day and she said both are acceptable.

Then I asked her which she uses, and she said as per AP standard, the last comma in question should be left off.



A great deal of newspaper policy is left over from typesetting days and is concerned primarily with reducing the amount of print required.

I'd bet that policy is one of the holdovers.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:16:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Both are accepted and correct forms. I think the former is called the Oxford comma.

And you would be correct sir.

You should think about going into teaching.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:19:58 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Apollos:
Originally Posted By CTRob65:
I was always taught not to use a comma before "and".


were you taught to put the period outside of the quotes too?



Probably not but he was taught to begin a sentence with a capital letter.

Back to the original question.

I was taught not to put the comma there.

BigDozer66

Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:21:06 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:21:19 AM EDT
Eather oNe, lO0k,s g00D Teo,, mE'
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:22:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2011 10:23:59 AM EDT by ProGunFemme]
The former (sometimes called the Oxford comma) is a rule of the Chicago Manual of Style, and the latter is a rule of the AP (Associated Press) Stylebook. Both are perfectly acceptable. I prefer the Oxford comma, though; its omission often leads to ambiguity.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:29:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2011 10:30:06 AM EDT by Hawken50]

Originally Posted By Apollos:
Originally Posted By CTRob65:
I was always taught not to use a comma before "and".


were you taught to put the period outside of the quotes too?


That's one I always wonder about. What if asking a question about the qoute, wouldn't putting the punctuation in the qoute alter it?

For instance-

Who said "Give me liberty or give me death"?

vs-

Who said "Give me liberty or give me death?"

wouldn't the second one incicate that the original quote was a question?
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:30:42 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Apollos:
Originally Posted By CTRob65:
I was always taught not to use a comma before "and".


were you taught to put the period outside of the quotes too?




Grammatically, as the quotes are used within the sentence and not for the entire sentence, he is correct. The period would be used outside of the quotes.

Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:32:37 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Hawken50:

Originally Posted By Apollos:
Originally Posted By CTRob65:
I was always taught not to use a comma before "and".


were you taught to put the period outside of the quotes too?


That's one I always wonder about. What if asking a question about the qoute, wouldn't putting the punctuation in the qoute alter it?

For instance-

Who said "Give me liberty or give me death"?

vs-

Who said "Give me liberty or give me death?"

wouldn't the second one incicate that the original quote was a question?


The first is correct.

Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:36:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2011 10:37:33 AM EDT by swingset]
There's no right or wrong, just preference. Both are acceptable.

I've heard people who argue for the "no comma" rule do so saying it makes the sentence easier to read, or appropriate the verbal syntax of the sentence. Based on that, which makes sense, I don't use the comma.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:39:47 AM EDT
I've always done it the first way.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:42:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By rwilkins01:
the first way is how i was taught, but i am an ancient person.


me too:
lettuce, pickles, and bacon
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:46:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By magnum_99:
I agree with you that "..., pickles and bacon" is distinct from ...pickles, and bacon."

", pickles and bacon" is now a unit rather than distinct sub-units.

The difference can have legal ramifications in contract disputes.

The ideas are NOT the same.


This is the way I see it, given that both are "correct". They do have different conotations.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:47:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2011 10:48:26 AM EDT by VBC]
I used to do the latter former, but now I do the former latter.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:47:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Both are accepted and correct forms. I think the former is called the Oxford comma.


agreed. both are scrupulously correct. i was taught [, and] as "the serial comma".
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:51:52 AM EDT
Save the commas ... PLEASE.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:58:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Apollos:
Originally Posted By CTRob65:
I was always taught not to use a comma before "and".


were you taught to put the period outside of the quotes too?


that's actually ambiguous, grammar-wise, since you're dealing with only one word. i forget the exact APA rule, but grammar is actually somewhat flexible in these areas––the key is consistency throughout the composition.

personally, if a sentence is entirely or almost entirely a quotation, i enclose the full stop inside the "marks". but "if the sentence is not predominantly a quotation, i put the period outside the marks."
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 11:05:04 AM EDT
Originally Posted By AR-180:
Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Both are accepted and correct forms.


Correct.


Agree with the above.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 11:06:45 AM EDT
Originally Posted By rwilkins01:
the first way is how i was taught, but i am an ancient person.


same here but I am 30 and was taught by an ancient person.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 11:13:32 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 11:16:28 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 11:32:12 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Silver_Surfer:
Originally Posted By sd_norske:
Grammar advice in GD?



That's where all the Nazis are.


Grammer Nazi Call Out thread.

Link Posted: 2/1/2011 11:34:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 223dude:
Eather oNe, lO0k,s g00D Teo,, mE'

You stay out of this, gene5.
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