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There were never any "good old days" — they are today, they are tomorrow
It's not optional (I don't care what the AP Stylebook says) 
9th-Jun-2008 10:15 am
use serial commas dammit
Work note: I am currently proofing page 28 of the 33-page document which spurred me to adopt this new userpic.

That is all.
(Deleted comment)
9th-Jun-2008 06:02 pm (UTC)
For more ammo, google "million dollar comma".

I really don't understand why the AP and others push to omit it. As I see it, there is no circumstance in which including the comma will introduce confusion, but there are plenty of circumstances in which leaving it out will cause problems.

When I'm Dictator of the Universe, dagnabbit...
10th-Jun-2008 04:27 am (UTC)
I have a theory about this because I used to work in printing pre-production. I think it was to save money, initially. Same as shifting from two spaces between a period and the start of a new sentence to one.

When typesetting was manual, every space was worth money, whether it was filled with a letter, symbol, or blank space. The money saved by omitting the final comma was probably greater when the process was manual than it is now, but the precedent was set. Also, the longer the document, the more extra spaces and final commas have an impact in the overall page count.

I can't prove these theories, but I think I'm not far off.
9th-Jun-2008 06:16 pm (UTC)
Fuck not with Lexi's language-fu, for she will smite you in multiple, internally coherent tenses!
9th-Jun-2008 07:35 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the office uses AP, as well - but I refuse to give up my Oxford commas.
9th-Jun-2008 07:38 pm (UTC)
I figure nobody around here is going to go through this document again to put them back in...
10th-Jun-2008 04:45 am (UTC)
10th-Jun-2008 08:06 pm (UTC)
I too use the Oxford comma. The Economist is the worst at leaving it out, and they also leave out the commas in appositives, which drives me, a self-proclaimed language nerd right up the wall.
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