10 Mar 2009
Named after the Oxford University Press where it was first used, the Oxford comma – a comma before the word and – is often avoided in British English but used in the US. For example:
In the US they write: Red, white, and blue.
In the UK we write: Red, white and blue.
For some reason, us Brits often feel quite weird about putting a comma before the word and. But we shouldn’t. Because the Oxford comma can really help avoid confusion.
Compare the following:
The flags were red, green and white, and blue. Three flags.
The flags were red, green and white and blue. How many flags? And what colour are they? Doh!
Go on. Use the Oxford comma today.