There is no punctuation mark that has sparked as much controversy as the Oxford comma. From grammar geeks to celebrities and even to the courtroom, the Oxford comma has fueled so many intense debates that you’d forget that it is just a punctuation mark — although grammar geeks might argue that it’s not just a punctuation mark.
Thanks to the video above, though, pro-Oxford comma grammar geeks can rejoice. Not only does it show how the Oxford comma had been used for hundreds of years, but also that it has a fascinating history as well.
One of the great Victorian minds of the time, Herbert Spencer, is the proponent of the serial comma or what is now famously known as the Oxford comma. He found it of great value as “marking out the component elements of a thought.” He believed that it is essential to provide clarity and efficiency in a body of text.
While Herbert Spencer may not be a household name anymore, the Oxford comma stood the test of time and is the most talked about punctuation mark today. So next time you are in the middle of a heated argument on the Oxford comma, throw in a little history and score one for the Oxford comma team!
Image is a screengrab from YouTube.