Thursday, February 28, 2008

Down with Serial-Comma Killers?

Jeff "the Punctuation Man" Rubin announced today that he endorses the serial comma:
Punctuation Man, a leading authority on punctuation and teaching punctuation to elementary school children, today announced his decision to fully support the use of the serial comma.

Shunned by the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook, the serial comma is still widely accepted by educators, grammarians, and literary circles, including Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, and the Chicago Manual of Style. The announcement coincides with the National Education Association's (NEA) "Read Across America" child literacy program, to be held nationwide on Monday, March 3.

There is no small debate about the serial comma (also known as the Oxford Comma). It is a comma used before a coordinating conjunction (such as "and") before the last item in a series of three or more. For example: The flag is red, white, and blue.

Enter Jeff Rubin -- aka Punctuation Man -- a former newspaper reporter turned newsletter publisher, public speaker, and founder of National Punctuation Day, which will celebrate its fifth anniversary on September 24. Jeff and his wife, Norma, travel the nation to teach children the basics of punctuation with Punctuation Playtime, a live assembly program that is also offered to teachers, schools, and school districts as an instructional DVD.

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