Stop Saying The Oxford Comma Is Not Important

Stop Saying The Oxford Comma Is Not Important

I'm talking to you, Vampire Weekend.
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Dear Grammarians, all English teachers, users of AP style, college students everywhere, and Vampire Weekend,

Welcome to college, where you’ll encounter a multitude of people who fail to understand the difference between to/too/two, there/their/they’re, your/you’re, and the importance of the Oxford comma. Being forced to edit my peers’ papers has made me realize how many people fail to understand simple grammar and how privileged I am to have gone to a Catholic school followed by another private academy where grammar was drilled into my head each and every day.

Now you may not know what the Oxford comma is, as it also goes by the name “serial comma” and “Harvard comma.” Many people fail to see why the Oxford comma is so essential, especially journalists, as writers and journalists are often forced to conform to AP style and therefore must omit one of the most essential forms of punctuation behind the period. I’m convinced that the reason AP style omits the Oxford comma is solely for the purpose of conciseness rather than clarity. Writing without the Oxford comma simply makes a writer seem uneducated and careless, even if AP style requires you to neglect it.

In case you don’t know or in case you’ve forgotten, the Oxford comma is the second to last mark of punctuation in a list of three or more items and before the written conjunction, such as “broccoli, peas, and carrots” rather than “broccoli, peas and carrots.” In complete honesty, omitting the Oxford comma for the sake of typing an example shoots chills down my back. Neglecting the Oxford comma simply changes the meaning of a sentence altogether. For example:

Failing to include the Oxford comma implies that JFK and Stalin were strippers. Now, I’m not a history buff by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m pretty sure that the thirty-fifth President of the United States and the leader of the Soviet Union were NOT strippers. That example alone should convince you that the Oxford comma is nothing short of essential to proper writing, but just in case you’re not fully convinced yet, let’s look at another example:

Once again, I’m not a history buff; however, I know FOR A FACT that the first and the sixteenth Presidents of the United States were not rhinoceri. How would they have run the country? Rhinoceri don’t even have opposable thumbs.

At the end of the day, I’m not going to change AP style; in fact, I am incapable of changing AP style, no matter how badly I desire to. The rest of what I write will conform to leaving out the Oxford comma; however, in my heart and in whatever I write for academic papers will include the Oxford comma. All of my English teachers taught me the proper use of the penultimate comma and I choose to honor my education and continue to not just include the Oxford comma but embrace it. So to all English teachers, users of AP style, college students everywhere, grammarians, and Vampire Weekend, I care about the Oxford Comma.

Sincerely,

Julianna Reynolds
College student, biology major, and strong proponent of the Oxford comma

Cover Image Credit: Business2Community

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You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Do you know the truth? Or are you allowing rumors to cloud your judgement of the political arena?

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