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# An Oxford comma would have been nice…

## An Oxford comma would have been nice…

(OP)
I'm reviewing the Health and Safety plan submittal for a water well drilling project and came across this gem, which had me going for a minute: "Potential hazards include moving rig parts, rotating shafts, overhead utilities, heat stress while wearing PPE and rattlesnakes."

Because there is no "and" before "heat stress", the meaning of the sentence is clear…the second time through. However, the first time through--when I didn't know how the sentence was going to end--it appeared to me that heat stress was generated by two things: wearing PPE (personal protective equipment) AND wearing rattlesnakes.

With an Oxford comma, this sentence would have been clear the first time through and I would not be worrying about construction workers wearing rattlesnakes.

--Fred

==========
"Is it the only lesson of history that mankind is unteachable?"
--Winston S. Churchill

### RE: An Oxford comma would have been nice…

I didn't know they were called Oxford commas, but when I looked it up, they are the commas which I always use.

### RE: An Oxford comma would have been nice…

I don't... I use the "and" but without the 'extra' comma.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

### RE: An Oxford comma would have been nice…

Any comma would have helped.
It's the same as:
I like to eat pizza and ice-cream my family and my dog.

It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. (Sherlock Holmes - A Scandal in Bohemia.)

### RE: An Oxford comma would have been nice…

Everyone should use the Oxford comma. Those that do not only mean to subject the world to chaos and disorder.

From a great movie:

#### CODE -->

that that is is
that that is not is not
is that it it is 

--Scott
www.wertel.pro

### RE: An Oxford comma would have been nice…

The best argument I've heard for the "Oxford comma":

"I'd like to thank my parents, George Bush and Oprah Winfrey."

### RE: An Oxford comma would have been nice…

cswilson: I would be re-structuring the complete sentence in this case so as to remove any doubt.

It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. (Sherlock Holmes - A Scandal in Bohemia.)

### RE: An Oxford comma would have been nice…

I agree. I would have placed the explicit names ahead of the implicit.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

### RE: An Oxford comma would have been nice…

That would work grammatically, but perhaps would not express the writer's order of preference. The comma is a wonderful thing.

### RE: An Oxford comma would have been nice…

No kidding, Kenat. Built a new house last year and the scorpions and black widows moved in before we did.

Thankfully, other than a couple scorpions in the garage and pool, none have made it into the house after the exterminator took care of them and the contractors stopped leaving the doors open.

--Scott
www.wertel.pro

### RE: An Oxford comma would have been nice…

Please remember: we're not all guys!

### RE: An Oxford comma would have been nice…

to Hokie66 - there is an error in the following:

"I didn't know they were called Oxford commas, but when I looked it up, they are the commas which I always use."

The use of the word, "Which" introduces an independent clause to a sentence. By virtue of being independent, you should be able to end the sentence (i.e., with a complete thought) prior to the word, "Which." In the instance of your reply, you should have used the word, "That," which is used when the remainder is not independent of the sentence.

Then again, I could be wrong. . . But I am consistent in review.

Regarding the subject of this thread, I would have used the comma too. I would have also ordered the perils differently. I like to make such ordered lists from fewest words to most words. For me it would have been the following:

"Potential hazards include rattlesnakes, rotating shafts, overhead utilities, moving rig parts, and heat stress while wearing PPE."

Not to be a pedant that is. . .

f-d

ípapß gordo ainÆt no madre flaca!

### RE: An Oxford comma would have been nice…

What's wrong with "...they are the commas I always use." ?

### RE: An Oxford comma would have been nice…

Correction accepted. Thanks.

### RE: An Oxford comma would have been nice…

Here's a case where an Oxford comma would not only have been nice (depending on which side you were on), but worth over $10 million: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/16/us/oxford-comma... "A class-action lawsuit about overtime pay for truck drivers hinged entirely on a debate that has bitterly divided friends, families and foes: The dreaded -- or totally necessary -- Oxford comma, perhaps the most polarizing of punctuation marks. What ensued in the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and in a 29-page court decision handed down on Monday, was an exercise in high-stakes grammar pedantry that could cost a dairy company in Portland, Me., an estimated$10 million."

### RE: An Oxford comma would have been nice…

Somewhere out there is an adherent to a snake-handling religion that must now make a difficult wardrobe choice.

### RE: An Oxford comma would have been nice…

Such an odd thing to include in a hazards list...I'd make an entirely new sentence for rattlesnakes. I don't normally use the Oxford comma, but it would be appropriate in that sentence. Moving rattlesnake up one order in the sentence so it was second to last, instead of last, item would provide even more clarity and eliminate the need for the Oxford comma.

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