Everything changes

Today I learned that everything I’ve learned is subject to change. Let’s back up – when I started by first job out of college I learned that they (the big mysterious “they”) had changed the rule about the comma before the word “and” (example – apples, pears, and oranges – should be: apples, pears and oranges). This morning my morning news report has told me that there are no longer 9 planets – that’s right Pluto is no longer a planet!

I don’t know how those of you who are parents help your kids with homework – they just keep changing the rules!


  1. NOOOO. The serial comma is not dead! It is vitally important in many more complicated sentence structures:

    ham and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, and grilled cheese.

    ham and cheese, peanut butter and jelly and grilled cheese.


  2. Yes – in those instances you can still use it – but in the ones like I had above you’re not supposed to. But, since there are so many of us who learned it the first way I don’t see it going away anytime soon.

    I did find this though: http://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/writing/comma?08 – apparently it’s optional – and both ways are correct.

    And Mr. Archer (English Teacher) says this:

    Example: The mountains, the lakes, the meadows and the wildlife should be protected in this area.

    Note: The conjunction AND in the above sentence for the last item in the series does not need a comma as the comma in a series actually functions as a conjunction. However, use a comma before the conjunction to avoid confusion with series of long phrases.

    So I was mis-informed (sort of) – it’s not gone, but it is optional now – either way they changed the rules on me and I don’t like that 🙂

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