I'm tickled pink to introduce Comma Rule #3: Using Commas to Separate Items in a Series. I am the star, after all!! BUT tried to talk, but the poor dear lost his nerve.
Thanks for taking charge, AND! Will you please explain what a series is?
Why, certainly! A series is three or more items. These items can be single words, phrases, and more. Make sure you separate these items by commas and insert yours truly before the last item. Occasionally, I'll allow OR to be used as well.
Can you show us some examples?
Gladly! Because I'm so generous, I'll actually show you four.
1) Mary's favorite colors are purple, yellow, and blue.
2) Jeremy enjoyed skiing, skating, and swimming.
3) I looked under the bed, inside my closet, and on my dresser, but my book is still missing.
4) Honor Society requirements include earning stellar grades, displaying good conduct, and performing community service.
I see BUT found the courage to sneak in after all. Will you allow OR to be featured in a sentence?
I suppose I could go powder my nose. OR! You're up!
5) Stan wasn't sure if he wanted pizza, sushi, or pasta for dinner.
Thanks! I couldn't help but notice that in each sentence, a comma was placed before AND and OR. That's called a SERIAL or OXFORD COMMA, and some people consider it optional. I vote for using it, as it lends clarity to every sentence.
I agree! But I will make one concession. It seems that newspapers and magazines prefer to leave out the final comma. I wish to stress, however, that I deserve to be introduced by the SERIAL COMMA in EVERY OTHER CASE.
Bravo, AND! You truly are a star. I also notice that all your examples exhibit excellent PARALLELISM - one of the most useful grammar rules of all. It's so useful (for writing, speeches, and for the SAT), that I'll take a brief break from comma rules and discuss PARALLELISM in the next spoonful. Thanks again!
Laura Fineberg Cooper
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