Sounds like a Watercooler channel discussion on the Write the Docs Slack 
channel ;>)


________________________________
From: Framers 
<framers-bounces+jeff.coatsworth=jonasclub....@lists.frameusers.com> on behalf 
of Johan Anglemark <johan.anglem...@iar.com>
Sent: January 8, 2019 6:57 AM
To: framers@lists.frameusers.com
Subject: Re: [Framers] OT: Punctuation question

Could we please take the religious discussions elsewhere than this list?

-j

On 2019-01-08 12:55, Tom Beiswenger wrote:
> It's more than "Oxford style." The use of a serial comma is covered in the 
> Chicago Manual of Style. Per entry 5.50: "In a series consisting of three or 
> more elements, the elements are separated by commas. When a conjunction joins 
> the last two elements in a series, a comma is used before the conjunction." 
> The British "The Economist Style Guide" specifically directs writers to NOT 
> use a serial comma.
>
> I have followed the serial comma rule since I went from being a newspaper 
> journalist to being a technical writer nearly 30 years ago. My personal 
> opinion is that the serial comma can be optional, but whether it is used or 
> no used must be consistent throughout any document or book. We have been 
> using it for more than 30 years. I see no need to change.
>
>
> Tom Beiswenger
> Project Manager, Manager IB Technical Documentation
>
> Emhart Glass Inc.
> 74 Kahler Road North • Horseheads NY 14845 • USA
> Telephone 1 607 735 2551 • Mobile +1 607 769 4779
> Fax +1 607 735 2601
> tom.beiswen...@emhartglass.com
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>
> -----"Framers" 
> <framers-bounces+tom.beiswenger=emhartglass....@lists.frameusers.com> wrote: 
> -----
> To: An email list for people using Adobe FrameMaker software. 
> <framers@lists.frameusers.com>
> From: Stephen Rickaby
> Sent by: "Framers"
> Date: 01/08/2019 05:10AM
> Subject: Re: [Framers] OT: Punctuation question
>
> At 09:33 +0000 8/1/19, shuttie27 wrote:
>
>> Two points:The "Oxford style" is to include the comma, not to omit it. It 
>> was so named because the Oxford University Press, almost alone among British 
>> publishers, mandated it in their style guide. Secondly, as for its being 
>> essential to avoid ambiguity, tell that to all the other British and other 
>> publishers who don't use it, and generations of British and other writers 
>> who have never used it.
>
> You are correct; I miswrote. 'Oxford Guide to Style', R M Ritter (an American 
> gentleman, by the way), OUP 2002, pp 121-122. This cites many instances where 
> the serial comma is necessary to avoid ambiguity, but admits that omitting it 
> is often done in US and UK English, but then goes on to suggest that you 
> might as well bung it in anyway.
>
> However, following the publication of this book there was a good deal of 
> spirited debate on the topic. As far as I remember (and I communicated with 
> Mr Ritter at the time but have mislaid the emails), the consensus, based on 
> several existing styles guides, was that 'UK style' was to omit the serial 
> comma unless by so doing ambiguity was introduced, while US style was always 
> to include it.
>
> Here for example is the relevant part of the British Psycholoigcal Society's 
> style guide:
>
> [Commas are...] Not required before 'and' in a list of items, unless to avoid 
> an ambiguity or to clarify where one item ends and another begins 
> (particularly where the items are lengthy). Examples:
>
> * ..in the professional work of clinical, forensic and educational 
> psychologists.
>
> * The Bishops of Winchester, and Bath and Wells [two bishops, not three]
>
> Or this from the Thomson Learning style guide:
>
> * Do not impose serial commas in lists of three or more items except to avoid 
> ambiguity.
>
> Or from The Economist style guide:
>
> * Lists: with lists do not put a comma before 'and' at the end of a sequence 
> of items unless one of the items includes another 'and'.
>
> Thus:
>
> 'The doctor suggested an aspirin, half a grapefruit and a cup of broth. But 
> he ordered scrambled eggs, whisky and soda, and a selection from the trolley.'
>


--
Johan Anglemark

Tel: 0708-65 10 88
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