Nerd Alert!

August 9, 2009

Everyone who knows me is well aware that I’m a nerd. I’m a nerd for a lot of reasons, but the biggest reason might be because I like good grammar and punctuation. Everyone expects this oddity of me and everyone makes fun of me for it. Examples:

Me: the person who suggested using “he” as a gender neutral singular pronoun was a feminist. and yes, i do read about grammar for fun
Sarah: really? that’s so crazy. and … really? grammar? you were judging me for L.A. Candy

Me: this is why i get mad when people say their harry potter fans and don’t read the books. b/c they really don’t know anything about the story
Laura: you are fired up! you had a grammar error

Me: how come it’s distrustful but it’s untrustworthy? And why do I care enough about things like this to go and google it….
Sarah: You would.

I can’t help it. I’m a nerd. Whatever. The English Language is cool. You can make fun of me all you want, but I’ll just keep making fun of you for not using the subjunctive correctly. WHO’S THE WINNER NOW?! (I know, still not me).

Anyway, this is the first of what will probably be many posts on my love for grammar and punctuation. I begin today with the Oxford comma.

According to Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss, when you learn about commas, you first learn that they are for dividing items in a list; however, they are not required before the “and” on the end: I love cats, dogs and bunnies.

TRAVESTY! Do you not feel the pause that belongs in that sentence? The room for a comma that would help that sentence make just a little more sense? I do. Hello Oxford comma (also known as the serial comma).

The standard usage in America is to leave the comma in: “The flag is red, white, and blue.” Unfortunately, I notice that more and more people are leaving this comma behind and it’s just not cool. No, it’s not actually incorrect to leave it in or to take it out. It’s a choice.

But, let’s be honest, if you leave it out, you’re making the wrong choice. I’m on team Oxford comma. Seriously. And my team always wins.

I can feel you all judging me for even knowing what an Oxford comma is. Everyone needs a hobby. Grammar: my anti-drug. Just wait, maybe it will catch on.

And I can’t be that uncool. The band “Vampire Weekend” sings about the Oxford comma: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_i1xk07o4g

So stick that in your dictionary and read it.

– Sarah #2

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