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Ethan, a student in business school, said that when he was active on dating apps, he immediately swiped right on guys who mentioned the Oxford comma. Ethan thinks it shows “a certain level of erudition. If you care about Oxford commas, you care, so that’s good to be up front about.”Sara, who works in television in Los Angeles, told me that the usual suspect is “always some hipster dude who isn’t posting shirtless ab pics, so they need something to set themselves apart.” They’re hoping to come off as “smart and cute” by mentioning the Oxford comma, she said. That’s probably the message: .”Besides, as Ethan pointed out, “Calling yourself a ‘grammar Nazi’ can be icky.” It hints that you’re annoyingly pedantic, on the level of correcting text-message grammar.
And having the word “Nazi” in your Tinder profile can be viscerally jarring.
On an internet occupied by as many finger-wagging “grammar Nazis” as slovenly texters who prefer emoji to verbal displays of emotion, the Oxford comma has become a cause célèbre. and Stalin were, in fact, pasty-wearing strippers all along.
This is especially true on dating apps, where many users have deemed the punctuation mark something they “can’t live without”—a designation that’s put it in the same lofty category as cheese, the beach, and . Even with language luminaries like Norris and Dreyer on the side of the Oxford comma, the punctuation mark has its critics.
Benjamin Dreyer, the longtime copy chief of Random House, calls those who eschew the Oxford comma “godless savages.” He writes in his new book, “No sentence has ever been harmed by a series comma, and many a sentence has been improved by one.” Like, for instance, the memorably illustrated sentence “We invited the strippers, J. On the infinite blank page of the internet, most newspapers still omit the Oxford comma, in accordance with AP style. When the bone-dry online-dating landscape is littered by so many useless, unspecific tumbleweeds of personality, why, then, is something as peculiarly niche as a punctuation mark popping up so often?
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Eleven years later, everyone on the internet seems to give a fuck—many fucks, a veritable shit-ton of fucks—about the punctuation mark.
T-shirts and coffee mugs emblazoned with “team Oxford comma” get thousands of five-star reviews on Etsy.
The Oxford comma, meanwhile, is “such a niche debate” that being a vocal supporter puts you in an “even more exclusive club” than being a grammar Nazi, Ethan said.
The Oxford comma is a stylistic choice, unburdened by moral designations of right or wrong.