August 15, 2011
As a grammar lover (and a fan of creating fun office debates), I must admit that I have given this much thought. Personally, I dislike the serial comma, I find it unnecessary, and I tend to rid sentences of it while proofing. However, it seems that the target audience may be the determiner of whether or not the serial comma is a serial crime.
The Chicago Manual of Style, whose audience tends to be mostly academic, suggests the usage of the serial comma; whereas, the Associated Press, followed by a more journalistic audience, tends to favor not using this punctuation. So does the audience determine the usage? If so, where does that leave us with blogs, social media and website content? Are we academic or journalistic – does it depend on the type of blog we are writing? Maybe we are technical? What do we do with that serial comma?