Meaning of serial comma in English:

serial comma


  • A comma used after the penultimate item in a list of three or more items, before ‘and’ or ‘or’ (e.g. an Italian painter, sculptor, and architect).

    Also called Oxford comma

    ‘It's like not using the serial comma; after all, that final comma isn't necessary because the 'and' signals the end of the list.’
    • ‘On a lesser note, I applaud the author's use (and the editors' forbearance) of serial commas.’
    • ‘But whatever your views on the serial comma, I hope you will agree that some conventions are more vital than others in forging a just order.’
    • ‘The book also omits the serial comma, as in ‘eats, shoots and leaves,’ which is acceptable in the United States only in newspapers and commercial magazines.’
    • ‘I am not going to adopt the serial comma, although a good case is certainly made by the book dedication: ‘To my parents, Ayn Rand and God’.’