One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A comma used after the penultimate item in a list of three or more items, before ‘and’ or ‘or’ (e.g. an Italian painter, sculptor, and architect).
- ‘The book also omits the serial comma, as in ‘eats, shoots and leaves,’ which is acceptable in the United States only in newspapers and commercial magazines.’
- ‘But whatever your views on the serial comma, I hope you will agree that some conventions are more vital than others in forging a just order.’
- ‘On a lesser note, I applaud the author's use (and the editors' forbearance) of serial commas.’
- ‘It's like not using the serial comma; after all, that final comma isn't necessary because the 'and' signals the end of the list.’
- ‘I am not going to adopt the serial comma, although a good case is certainly made by the book dedication: ‘To my parents, Ayn Rand and God’.’
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