Also known as the serial comma, the Oxford comma sparks a clear divide between communicators. You’re either for or against it.
As an infographic from OnlineSchools.com explains, the Oxford comma got its name from the Oxford University Press, where printers and editors traditionally used it. When you use the comma before the conjunction in a series of words, its job is to clarify the meaning of the sentence.
For example, which sentence is clearer?
“I would like to thank my parents, Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey.”
“I would like to thank my parents, Bill Clinton, and Oprah Winfrey.”
The second one, right?
But in sentences with more simple lists, that kind of confusion is absent:
“She wore tan shoes, pink shoelaces and a polka-dot shirt.”