Here's Vampire Weekend's Oxford Comma...
Great, isn't it? But what is an Oxford comma? Shall I tell you?
Imagine you are a man who is getting dressed for the office in the morning. Do you put on (in strict order)...
pants, vest, socks, shirt, trousers and tie?
pants, vest, socks, shirt, trousers, and tie?
See the difference? See the Oxford comma in the second example?
My old English teacher drummed it into us that there should never be a comma before the "and" in a list. Now and again I throw one in to be a devil.
The song's author, Ezra Koenig, was inspired to write it when he discovered that there was a Columbia University student group which named themselves "Students for the Preservation of the Oxford Comma". Hence the first line "Who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma?"
I certainly don't. Life is too short for getting all excited about other people's use of grammar. I've never read Eats Shoots and Leaves and I don't intend to. In fact, if I were ever to open a greengrocer's shop I'd call it The Rogue Apostrophe Greengrocer's and make sure it was fully stocked with potatoe's, green's, green bean's, tomatoe's, and (note the Oxford comma) asparagus tip's for the grammar stream.
1 day ago