To serial comma or not to serial comma. That is the question.
MRP has worked at places where house style rabidly adhered to serial commas and at other places where house style rabidly abhored serial commas. I’ve also worked in a place where the serial comma was punctuation non grata and then suddenly was completely de rigueur.
I’ve declared myself personally agnostic on the issue; I tend to go with whatever house style I’m currently using at work. But I’m growing to prefer the serial comma for generally making things more clear, as illustrated by the famously apocryphal inscription, “To my parents, Ayn Rand and God.”
Grammar Girl has a thorough exposition of the issues. And hat tip to Audubon for an amusing article about this issue. In it, Anthony Peyton Porter writes about making the transition from no serial commas to serial commas.
Serial commas not only soothe and reassure all who experience them, they add a pleasing rhythm and graceful cessation to any sentence. Try them for yourself, and you’ll see.
Do you agree?