Always Put a Comma Before “and” in a List

tgrab1j5wypeuqfbvfgc.png
The ‘Comma’ Butterfly

Do you go to the store for “cupcakes, vanilla, and chocolate” or “cupcakes, vanilla and chocolate”? There’s a long-running debate over whether it’s proper to include that last comma in a list. Well, forget proper. The comma makes things clearer, and a recent lawsuit proves that… More at lifehacker.

I disagree.

7 thoughts on “Always Put a Comma Before “and” in a List

  1. English is ambiguous enough without adding any more. I always add the comma unless I’m inviting very specific strippers 🙂

  2. How about writing a list like software code: start list with a colon, separate each item with a comma, omit the word ‘and’. <–See what I did there?
    "We invited: strippers, jfk, stalin."
    "Go to the store for: cupcakes, vanilla, chocolate."

    But if you wanted to introduce a choice into the list then the comma becomes shorthand for not making two separate lists; it's either:
    "Go to the store for: cupcakes, vanilla or chocolate." Which means do not forget the cupcakes.
    "Go to the store for: cupcakes, vanilla, or chocolate." Which means pick one of the three.
    "Go to the store for cupcakes, and either vanilla or chocolate." Which means do not forget the cupcakes; also pick one of the two items after the comma.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s