University of Oxford PR department: Stop using the Oxford comma [UPDATED]

You may know it as the serial comma. Whatever you may call it, those working in the Oxford PR department aren’t to have anything to do with it. UPDATE: The university is now saying that just because it doesn’t want its communications department to use the extra comma doesn’t mean it’s advocating against its use in general. Huh?

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The Associated Press Stylebook doesn’t advocate the use of the Oxford comma (also known as the serial comma), and neither does the PR department at the University of Oxford.

On Thursday, MediaBistro’s Galley Cat blog posted an entry from the university’s “branding toolkit,” which states:

“As a general rule, do not use the serial/Oxford comma: so write ‘a, b and c’ not ‘a, b, and c’. But when a comma would assist in the meaning of the sentence or helps to resolve ambiguity, it can be used—especially where one of the items in the list is already joined by ‘and’ …”

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