To Punctuation, With Love
The serial comma suffered a serious blow the other day. The University of Oxford Public Affairs Directorate deemed it unnecessary. This disavowal carried weight because the serial comma (i.e. the comma before the "and" in a series of nouns, such as "dragons, unicorns, and were-llamas") is nicknamed the Oxford comma.
I like that a punctuation mark can have a nickname. I think I shall call semicolons Fred.
Fred is one of my favorite punctuation marks; he holds a special place in my heart... a place right between two independent clauses... :)
But I digress.
Anyway, I am a strong supporter of the serial comma. Think how its absence changes this infamous, yet apocryphal, book dedication: "To my parents, Ayn Rand and God."
Really, though, I love all commas. And all punctuation. Commas, periods, semicolons, dashes, ellipses... they are the silence between the notes. Just as essential to the music as the sounds.
Do you have a favorite punctuation mark? What do you think about Fred?