Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Do you teach your children to use the oxford comma?  

117 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you use the oxford comma?

    • Yes
      113
    • No
      4


Recommended Posts

Do you require your children to use an Oxford comma when writing?   Do you use one in your own writing?   I have strong feelings about the Oxford comma, and I am just curious what is the "norm" in the homeschool community.   

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use it and absolutely require it.  People who don't use the Oxford comma have no understanding of...well...anything.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolutely use it. Will require it for most of my students. Still working on proper letter case and very basic punctuatiin (like periods or similar punctuation is required for every sentence) with my dyslexic/dysgraphic students.

 

Sent from my SM-T530NU using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used it and required it (and I don't remember using any materials that taught otherwise...APA and MLA style both use it.)

Edited by MerryAtHope

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was taught to use it, and feel very strongly about this... but the more important rule is to be consistent. I'd rather see a kid never use it except when necessary for clarity than to see them sometimes use it and sometimes not with no rhyme or reason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Oxford Comma eliminates confusion.  I am all for writing as clearly as possible, especially if all it requires is one extra key-stroke.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favorite example:

 

I love my parents, Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian.

vs.

I love my parents, Donald Trump, and Kim Kardashian.

 

The first looks like I have very strange parents and the second makes me look very strange.

  • Like 18

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favorite example:

 

I love my parents, Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian.

vs.

I love my parents, Donald Trump, and Kim Kardashian.

 

The first looks like I have very strange parents and the second makes me look very strange.

 

My favorite is "We invited two strippers, JFK and Stalin."

 

No matter how you punctuate it, you gotta admit that that's a heck of party!

 

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favorite example:

 

I love my parents, Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian.

vs.

I love my parents, Donald Trump, and Kim Kardashian.

 

The first looks like I have very strange parents and the second makes me look very strange.

 

That's what colons are for.  If your parents are not DT and KK  but you love all four people, you write a normal list:

 

I love my parents, Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian.

 

If DT and KK are your parents, you write:

 

I love my parents: Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favorite is "We invited two strippers, JFK and Stalin."

 

No matter how you punctuate it, you gotta admit that that's a heck of party!

 

Colons, you need colons.  Commas are weedy and over-used little beggars.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Colons, you need colons. Commas are weedy and over-used little beggars.

The feel and flow and emphasis is different to me with a colon; the colon draws attention to itself in a way that a comma doesn't.

 

I invited my brothers: John and Bob.

 

Makes the names stand out.

 

I invited my brothers, John and Bob.

 

Places the emphasis on the first half of the sentence with the mention of names coming across as more casual.

Edited by maize
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The feel and flow and emphasis is different to me with a colon; the colon draws attention to itself in a way that a comma doesn't.

 

I invited my brothers: John and Bob.

 

Makes the names stand out.

 

I invited my brothers, John and Bob.

 

Places the emphasis on the first half of the sentence with the mention of names coming across as more casual.

I can see that, but I'm in favour of clarity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Colons, you need colons.  Commas are weedy and over-used little beggars.

 

Thank you, L.C. Someone needed to speak up for the underdog here. (And as I am in favor of the Oxford comma generally, I was struggling to come up with a good defense.)

I'm in favor of letting my kids choose how they punctuate their own writing, once they understand the conventions.

 

The purpose of punctuation is clarity, and for getting the author's intentions across to the readers in the clearest-- but also, often, the most interesting-- way.

 

Viewed this way, one could just as well say "I love Kim Kardashian, Donald Trump and my parents," couldn't one? And wouldn't one want to introduce the fact that one was the child of two such personalities, if that were the intention, in a more interesting and dramatic way than informing us of one's love for them?

 

Sometimes a stern adherence to The Rules limits one's perspective, and often rewriting one's sentences is the better solution to punctuation conundrums. The language and the punctuation marks are a team and they work together to make words flow properly inside the reader's mind.

 

(Of course, in the case of writing regulations and legal documents, one doesn't mess around with what sounds and looks best. But when it comes to my child writing for me, I am happy with any choice she is willing and able to defend cogently, once she has heard how a reader might interpret the statement.)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's what colons are for.  If your parents are not DT and KK  but you love all four people, you write a normal list:

 

I love my parents, Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian.

 

If DT and KK are your parents, you write:

 

I love my parents: Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian.

I suppose but I think that the problem with the first sentence is that it's ambiguous. There are different ways of punctuating and the reader just won't know if it's me or my parents that are odd. I guess we could compromise and just say that the lack of an oxford comma is inappropriate if it causes ambiguity.

 

On a side note, I think that the colon needs a new name. The word just conjures up images of intestines to me. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose but I think that the problem with the first sentence is that it's ambiguous. There are different ways of punctuating and the reader just won't know if it's me or my parents that are odd. 

 

I was taught that a comma in that situation would be tautologous, as the 'and' contains within itself the idea of the comma.  It's a UK/US thing: the Oxford comma is rarely used here so there's no ambiguity in this case.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_comma#Mainly_British_style_guides_supporting_mandatory_use

 

The only time I use one is where there is an extra 'and' in a sentence: He ate cereal, bread and butter, and pineapple.

Edited by Laura Corin
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oxford comma, of course.

 

And let's not forget the beauty of the semicolon, too. Punctuation is wonderful.

Edited by regentrude

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went through most of my life unaware that commas were associated with a fancy British university.  I just thought they were generic commas, the kind you might encounter at a state flagship.  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use the OC or not, depending on the sentence I'm writing. I don't understand why people get worked up about it, and either insist on using it, or refuse to use it. There's no virtue in senseless consistency. Commas are meant to make your sentence clearer, so put one in if it adds meaning or clarity, and don't if it doesn't. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I grew up with it being the only way, so that is how I have taught it.  But I grew up in a former British Colony, and although I went to an American school, we still held to many British ways.   For example, we were allowed to spell words the American way or British way, and the teachers weren't allowed to mark off for doing it one way over the other.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Off to google. Super embarassed I don't know what it is. I was horrible with writing and grammar. The bad part is I did great in school. Go figure.

 

Ok, got it now. Funny thing. They taught us to use it in elementary school and then it was suddenly wrong to use it in high school. I'm on the habit of not using it because I thought it was wrong to do so. I always did like the way it looked to use it. So who or what group says use it and who says no?

 

I'm interested to see what my dh thinks because he considers himself pretty good with grammar. My bff is an english major and hs english teacher. I wonder if she uses it or not?

 

Learn something new everyday.

Edited by Elizabeth86

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I usually do, but it's not the case that it always provides clarity.  Sometimes it can make things less clear.  One way or another, there will be times you need to rearrange your writing.

 

The main reason I use it is really that it sounds right to the voice in my head.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with Laura and Isabel and use the Oxford comma only when necessary for clarity.

 

As an English professor, I wholeheartedly agree with fralala's post above, especially the part below. I work with my students to understand that the way we compose a text-sentence structure, word choice, punctuation etc.- must be shaped by the particular rhetorical situation- the audience, purpose and genre. Legal documents absolutely require the Oxford comma as demonstrated by the story a pp linked above. Analytical essays require a more sophisticated sentence structure and word choice than strict adherence to The Rules often encourages.

 

 

Sometimes a stern adherence to The Rules limits one's perspective, and often rewriting one's sentences is the better solution to punctuation conundrums. The language and the punctuation marks are a team and they work together to make words flow properly inside the reader's mind.

 

(Of course, in the case of writing regulations and legal documents, one doesn't mess around with what sounds and looks best. But when it comes to my child writing for me, I am happy with any choice she is willing and able to defend cogently, once she has heard how a reader might interpret the statement.)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was in school and studying to be a secretary, it was optional to use the Oxford comma (and we didn't call it the "Oxford comma"). I use it sometimes, but it looks weird to me to write, "We're having bacon, eggs, and toast for breakfast" instead of "...bacon, eggs and toast."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you require your children to use an Oxford comma when writing?   Do you use one in your own writing?   I have strong feelings about the Oxford comma, and I am just curious what is the "norm" in the homeschool community.   

 

I think the important thing to teach our kids about grammar and formal writing is that there are some things that are "universal" rules that must always be followed, not matter what.  These are things like noun-verb agreement, use of there vs their vs they're, etc.  Additional aspects of writing, though, may come under the jurisdiction of a local style guide, depending on what you are writing.  The style guide may present additional rules, like use of the Oxford comma, that you must use for that publication, even if it isn't a universal grammar rule.

 

It isn't as important to teach all the rules of, say, the MLA style guide, as to teach that there is such a thing, and you should find out what (if any) style guide is in play for what you are writing, and look up, and follow those guidelines.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use it, teach it, require it. It's used by all of the major style guides (MLA, APA, Chicago, Struck & White, Purdue OWL, etc.) as well as in US Gov't writing. The only US style guides recommending against it, primarily for reasons of space rather than semantics, are newspaper style guides (which still recommend it when needed for clarity). Since most college writing will follow MLA/APA format, I want my kids to be able use it automatically without having to stop and think about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...