serial comma

variants: or less commonly series comma

Definition of serial comma

: a comma used to separate the second-to-last item in a list from a final item introduced by the conjunction and or or If you've always used the serial comma—“red, white, and blue”—its absence can look slipshod and lazy. If you were taught the more streamlined AP style—“red, white and blue”—the extra comma may seem fussy and pretentious.— Jan Freeman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3 Apr. 2011

called also Harvard comma, Oxford comma

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First Known Use of serial comma

1922, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for serial comma

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The first known use of serial comma was in 1922

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Cite this Entry

“Serial comma.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
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