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Comma Comma Comma Comma Swoop Comma Comma Comma Comma

"'The Flag is red, white, and blue.' So what do you think of it? (Comma after white?) Are you for it or against it? Do you hover inbetween? (Truss 84)."

Apparently, in Britain you are supposed to leave out the comma, but in America, you're to leave that comma in and there are those who make a point of removing it (ESPECIALLY JOURNALISTS). I was always taught, if you have 3 items listed, there are to be 2 commas. And 4 items have 3 and so forth. The number of items equals one less number of commas. That "Red, white and blue." doesn't make sense to me (without the comma). I thought that last comma was up to the writer and never actually knew the rule for it. Now I have an engraved picture frame on my desk that I am staring at from Things Remembered and the quote at the top says, "Today, Tomorrow and Always." (Minus the second comma-Was the engraver British?)
And why do Journalists omit that comma. I was taught to leave that comma in but I'm a Journalism major, so what do I do?
If I go to Britain, should I omit that random comma if I'm writing something there. What If I write it there to bring it back to the US, should I just leave it in?
To make things better I'm going to pretend the rule is up to you, kinda like when you write 1000, you can put the comma in (1,000) only if you want.
That's what I am going to do.

I never thought I could write an entire blog entry on ONE comma.


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Comments

I would stick to using one less comma than the number of items.

I disagree with you on the whole comma situation. My mother and I would always argue over the oxford comma. She would read over my papers for grammatical errors and that is one comma she'd always want to add and every time I'd tell her, "No, I want it that way! You can leave it out or put it in, but this is the way I like it!" If I get the chance to leave out a comma-I’m not incredibly fond of them- I will! I was taught to leave it out. My sister was also taught to omit the troublesome little comma. My nephews are being taught to put it in. Gosh, what a pain the comma is-sometimes!

hahaha I liked your last sentence. Isn't it funny though how there isn't a rule set in stone for this happening? It always drives me crazy, but I guess I just end up doing my own thing.

I have the same problem with commas in a sequence Tiffany. One of my teachers told me it had to be there (before the "and"), another said it should never be there, and another said we could choose. Obviously, I normally but a comma there, but the rules are so confusing. I think I will follow your rule too-put it there if you want to, don't put it there if you don't want to. This makes everything much simpler. P.S. Great point about the two ways to write 1000.

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