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Hi Clive,

Just in case you might be interested, I give you a couple of sites:

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/grammar/g_comma.html

Here they say that, when listing three or more items, one should use a comma before "and".

http://web2.uvcs.uvic.ca/elc/studyzone/330/grammar/comma.htm

Here they say that the use of a comma before "and" is optional.

Best,

Sextus
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Sextus
Here they say that the use of a comma before "and" is optional.
Without looking at either source you provided, I can tell you that in AmE we call the "optional" comma the "Oxford".
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Yeah, I know it is also called "serial comma" or "Harvard comma" (because it is also used by Harvard Univ. Press). I knew it is used mainly in AmE, while it is uncommon in BrE (even though Oxford Univ. Press employs it). We were just discussing this with Clive the other day.

Sextus
Hi,

It's the Oxford Univ. Press style, but in my estimation no Oxford English graduate would write in that way!

Such a comma has been called 'an extra fence where no animal was escaping'.

Having ranted a little, I must admit that no doubt there are individual cases, long sentences for example, where such a comma might serve a purpose.

Best wishes, Clive
Yes, I've known people from South Africa and the UK who don't use it. But I've got a friend from the US who does.

Best,

Sextus
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