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Lack of Oxford Comma Could Cost Maine Company Millions in Overtime Dispute

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.

    Daniel Victor, reporting for The New York Times:

    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.

    KidLightning likes this.
  2. As a huge supporter of the Oxford comma, this is simply incredible.
  3. Elder Lightning

    A lightning bolt without a cloud in the sky Supporter

    To be fair, it wasn't entirely the lack of the Oxford comma that could cost them millions, it was their failure to take into account the absence of the comma, as well as the gerund use, when interpreting the statute.

    I think the gerund use is almost as important here as the comma, as it reinforced the court's interpretation of what the lack of the comma meant.

    (And, yes, I am a lawyer.)
  4. joey-wan kenobi

    Happiness is a warm gun mama

    get outta here...
  5. bachna84

    we are nothing more than mannequins Prestigious

    Who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma?
    bptky, PandaBear!, honkytonk and 4 others like this.
  6. disambigujason

    Trusted Supporter

    it has always baffled me how people don't use it; i feel like when you learn how to use commas, it should just naturally follow.
  7. crunchprank Prestigious

    Raku, jorbjorb, devenstonow and 8 others like this.
  8. ianzandi


    I came here just for this
    bachna84, Essie and skogsraet like this.
  9. Kiana

    Goddamn, man child Prestigious

    OMG THAT'S WHAT AN OXFORD COMMA IS?! I use them all the time then and once I had a group project with an English major and she proofread my portion of the paper and took them all out!! We got into an argument but she pulled rank as a major and shut me down! She also changed all my quotation marks so they were like "hi". Instead of "hi." And I'm still mad about that too!!
  10. disambigujason

    Trusted Supporter

    ugh why would anyone intentionally introduce ambiguity??
    coleslawed likes this.
  11. JohnnyStacks


    Oakhurst Dairy definitely gives a fuck about an Oxford comma.
  12. Craig Manning

    @FurtherFromSky Moderator

    When I was the Arts & Entertainment editor for my college newspaper, I had to use AP style and wasn't allowed to write with the Oxford comma. I died a little bit every time.
    Jason Tate likes this.
  13. Malatesta

    i may get better but we won't ever get well Prestigious

    fuck her up homie, period inside of quotations is widely standardized

    as for the oxford comma, i have always been a strong supporter. never understood why people don't use it. it only serves to clarify.
  14. SuNDaYSTaR

    Regular Prestigious

  15. Gnarly Charlie

    Good guy, but a bad dude

    I write for a newspaper and the oxford comma is considered blasphemous here. I had so much trouble getting used to not using it in print.
  16. FrankieThe4th

    things have never been stranger Prestigious

  17. jorbjorb

    7 rings

    I was hoping this thread had something to do with vampire weekend.
    coleslawed and Chase Tremaine like this.
  18. Her degree should be revoked.
    Raku likes this.
  19. devenstonow


  20. Zev Jameson Loika

    Life's a garden, dig it.

    Recently got into an argument online about whether or not the Oxford comma was proper, I'm happy to find some others who believe in its use. I would take a bullet for my right to use it.
    Jason Tate and coleslawed like this.