••••• login ELINGUE Contatti: Tel. 02-36553040
              Email:
   

Selettore risorse


     IL Metodo  |  Grammatica  |  ESERCIZI SERIE 1 - 2 - 3 | Inglese con noi  |  Multiblog  |  INSEGNARE AGLI ADULTI  |  INSEGNARE AI BAMBINI  |  AudioBooks  |  RISORSE SFiziosE  |  Articoli  |  Tips  | testi pAralleli  |  VIDEO SOTTOTITOLATI

   AREA SHOP  RIVISTA ENGLISH4LIFE  | CORS0 20 ORE DI INGLESE |  CORSO 20 ORE DI SPAGNOLO | CORSO 20 ORE DI TEDESCO  | CORSO 20 ORE DI FRANCESE  | CORSO 20 ORE DI RUSSO 


 

WIKIBOOKS
DISPONIBILI
•••••••••

ART
- Great Painters
BUSINESS&LAW
- Accounting
- Fundamentals of Law
- Marketing
- Shorthand
CARS
- Concept Cars
GAMES&SPORT
- Videogames
- The World of Sports

COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY
- Blogs
- Free Software
- Google
- My Computer

- PHP Language and Applications
- Wikipedia
- Windows Vista

EDUCATION
- Education
LITERATURE
- Masterpieces of English Literature
LINGUISTICS
- American English

- English Dictionaries
- The English Language

MEDICINE
- Medical Emergencies
- The Theory of Memory
MUSIC&DANCE
- The Beatles
- Dances
- Microphones
- Musical Notation
- Music Instruments
SCIENCE
- Batteries
- Nanotechnology
LIFESTYLE
- Cosmetics
- Diets
- Vegetarianism and Veganism
TRADITIONS
- Christmas Traditions
NATURE
- Animals

- Fruits And Vegetables



ARTICLES IN THE BOOK

  1. Adverbial
  2. Agentive ending
  3. Ain't
  4. American and British English differences
  5. American and British English pronunciation differences
  6. American and British English spelling differences
  7. American English
  8. Amn't
  9. Anglophone
  10. Anglosphere
  11. Apostrophe
  12. Australian English
  13. Benjamin Franklin's phonetic alphabet
  14. Bracket
  15. British and American keyboards
  16. British English
  17. Canadian English
  18. Certificate of Proficiency in English
  19. Classical compound
  20. Cockney
  21. Colon
  22. Comma
  23. Comma splice
  24. Cut Spelling
  25. Dangling modifier
  26. Dash
  27. Definite article reduction
  28. Disputed English grammar
  29. Don't-leveling
  30. Double copula
  31. Double negative
  32. Ellipsis
  33. English alphabet
  34. English compound
  35. English declension
  36. English English
  37. English grammar
  38. English honorifics
  39. English irregular verbs
  40. English language learning and teaching
  41. English modal auxiliary verb
  42. English orthography
  43. English passive voice
  44. English personal pronouns
  45. English phonology
  46. English plural
  47. English relative clauses
  48. English spelling reform
  49. English verbs
  50. English words with uncommon properties
  51. Estuary English
  52. Exclamation mark
  53. Foreign language influences in English
  54. Full stop
  55. Generic you
  56. Germanic strong verb
  57. Gerund
  58. Going-to future
  59. Grammatical tense
  60. Great Vowel Shift
  61. Guillemets
  62. Habitual be
  63. History of linguistic prescription in English
  64. History of the English language
  65. Hyphen
  66. I before e except after c
  67. IELTS
  68. Initial-stress-derived noun
  69. International Phonetic Alphabet for English
  70. Interpunct
  71. IPA chart for English
  72. It's me
  73. Languages of the United Kingdom
  74. Like
  75. List of animal adjectives
  76. List of British idioms
  77. List of British words not widely used in the United States
  78. List of case-sensitive English words
  79. List of commonly confused homonyms
  80. List of common misspellings in English
  81. List of common words that have two opposite senses
  82. List of dialects of the English language
  83. List of English apocopations
  84. List of English auxiliary verbs
  85. List of English homographs
  86. List of English irregular verbs
  87. List of English prepositions
  88. List of English suffixes
  89. List of English words invented by Shakespeare
  90. List of English words of Celtic origin
  91. List of English words of Italian origin
  92. List of English words with disputed usage
  93. List of frequently misused English words
  94. List of Fumblerules
  95. List of homophones
  96. List of -meters
  97. List of names in English with non-intuitive pronunciations
  98. List of words having different meanings in British and American English
  99. List of words of disputed pronunciation
  100. London slang
  101. Longest word in English
  102. Middle English
  103. Modern English
  104. Names of numbers in English
  105. New Zealand English
  106. Northern subject rule
  107. Not!
  108. NuEnglish
  109. Oxford spelling
  110. Personal pronoun
  111. Phonological history of the English language
  112. Phrasal verb
  113. Plural of virus
  114. Possessive adjective
  115. Possessive antecedent
  116. Possessive me
  117. Possessive of Jesus
  118. Possessive pronoun
  119. Preposition stranding
  120. Pronunciation of English th
  121. Proper adjective
  122. Question mark
  123. Quotation mark
  124. Received Pronunciation
  125. Regional accents of English speakers
  126. Rhyming slang
  127. Run-on sentence
  128. Scouse
  129. Semicolon
  130. Semordnilap
  131. Serial comma
  132. Shall and will
  133. Silent E
  134. Singular they
  135. Slash
  136. SoundSpel
  137. Space
  138. Spelling reform
  139. Split infinitive
  140. Subjective me
  141. Suffix morpheme
  142. Tag question
  143. Than
  144. The Reverend
  145. Third person agreement leveling
  146. Thou
  147. TOEFL
  148. TOEIC
  149. Truespel
  150. University of Cambridge ESOL examination
  151. Weak form and strong form
  152. Welsh English
  153. Who
  154. You
 



THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
This article is from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_comma

All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Text_of_the_GNU_Free_Documentation_License 

Serial comma

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

The serial comma (also known as the Oxford comma or Harvard comma) is the comma used immediately before a grammatical conjunction (nearly always and or or) that precedes the last item in a list of three or more items. The phrase "ham, chips, and eggs" is an example that is written with the serial comma, while "ham, chips and eggs" is identical in meaning, but does not include the serial comma.

Copy editors and others disagree on the use of the serial comma. It is nearly standard use in American English[1], but much less common in British English [2] (see extended treatment of this below, including a survey of published recommendations in Usage and subsequent sections). The serial comma is not used in Dutch, French, German, Russian, Spanish, or other main Indo-European languages.

Arguments typically advanced for use of the serial comma by default include:

  1. that it better matches the spoken cadence of sentences;
  2. that it sometimes reduces ambiguity; and
  3. that its use matches practice with other means of separating items in a list (example: when semicolons are used to separate items, a semicolon is consistently included before the last item, even when and or or is present).

Arguments typically advanced for avoidance of the serial comma by default include:

  1. that it is against much conventional practice;
  2. that it may introduce ambiguity; and
  3. that it is redundant, since the and or the or serves by itself to mark the logical separation between the final two items.

Many sources, however, are against automatic use of the serial comma and make recommendations in a more nuanced way (again, see Usage and subsequent sections).

The terms "Oxford comma" and "Harvard comma" come from Oxford University Press and Harvard University Press, where use of the serial comma is the house style.

(The term "serial comma" is sometimes used to refer to any of the commas serving as separators in a list: but this usage is rare and old-fashioned and in this article the term is used only as defined above.)

Ambiguity

Resolving ambiguity

Use of the serial comma can sometimes remove ambiguity. Consider an apocryphal book dedication:

To my parents, Ayn Rand and God.

There is ambiguity about the writer's parentage, because Ayn Rand and God can be read as an apposition to my parents. A comma before and removes the ambiguity:

To my parents, Ayn Rand, and God.

Consider also:

My favourite types of sandwiches are pastrami, ham, cream cheese and jam and peanut butter.

According to the two most plausible interpretations of this sentence, four kinds of sandwich are listed. But it is uncertain which are the third and fourth kinds. Adding a serial comma removes this ambiguity. With a comma after jam, the kinds of sandwich are these:

  1. pastrami
  2. ham
  3. cream cheese and jam
  4. peanut butter

With a comma after cream cheese, the kinds of sandwich are these:

  1. pastrami
  2. ham
  3. cream cheese
  4. jam and peanut butter

Some writers who normally avoid the serial comma may use one in these circumstances. Sometimes re-ordering the elements of such a list can help also.

Creating ambiguity

Use of the serial comma can introduce ambiguity. "Betty, a maid and a rabbit" is clearly two people and a rabbit, whereas "Betty, a maid, and a rabbit" may be either one person (Betty, who is a maid) or two people (Betty and a maid), and a rabbit.

A similar example would be a book dedication which read "To my mother, Ayn Rand and God". With no serial comma this is unambiguous, but introducing one creates ambiguity about the writer's mother, because "Ayn Rand" can then be read as an apposition to "my mother".

Unresolved ambiguity

The Times once published [3] a description of a Peter Ustinov documentary: "highlights of his global tour include encounters with Nelson Mandela, an 800-year-old demigod and a dildo collector." This is ambiguous as it stands, but even with a serial comma Mandela could still be mistaken for a demigod.

Or consider "They went to Oregon with Betty, a maid, and a cook." The presence of the last comma creates the possibility that Betty is a maid, reasonably allowing it to be read either as a list of two people or as a list of three people, context aside. On the other hand, removing the comma leaves the possibility that Betty is both a maid and a cook, so in this case neither the use nor the avoidance of the serial comma resolves the ambiguity.

A writer who intends for Betty, the maid, and the cook to be three distinct people may create an ambiguous sentence regardless of whether the serial comma is adopted. Furthermore, if the reader is unaware of which convention is being used, both versions are always ambiguous.

These forms (among others) would remove the ambiguity:

  • They went to Oregon with Betty – a maid and a cook. (One person)
  • They went to Oregon with Betty, who is a maid and a cook. (One person)
  • They went to Oregon with Betty (a maid) and a cook. (Two people)
  • They went to Oregon with Betty – a maid – and a cook. (Two people)
  • They went to Oregon with the maid Betty and a cook. (Two people)
  • They went to Oregon with Betty and a maid and a cook. (Three people)
  • They went to Oregon with a full staff: Betty; a maid; and a cook. (Three people)
  • They went to Oregon with a maid, a cook, and Betty. (Three people)
  • They went to Oregon with a maid, a cook and Betty. (Three people)

In general, the three-item list "x, y and z" is unambigious if "y and z" cannot be interpreted as an apposition to x. Equally, "x, y, and z" is unambigious if y cannot be interepred as an apposition. If neither "y" nor "y and z" can be appositions to x, then both alternatives are unambigious. If both can be appositions, then both alternatives are ambigious.

Usage

The Chicago Manual of Style, Strunk and White's Elements of Style, most authorities on American English and Canadian English, and some authorities on British English – for example, Oxford University Press and Fowler's Modern English Usage – recommend the use of the serial comma. Newspaper style guides – such as those published by The New York Times, the Associated Press, The Times newspaper in the United Kingdom, and the Canadian Press – recommend against it, possibly for economy of space.

In Australia, the United Kingdom, and South Africa, the serial comma tends not to be used in non-academic publications unless its absence produces ambiguity. Many academic publishers (e.g. Cambridge University Press) also avoid it, though some academic publishing houses in these countries do use it. The Australian Government Publishing Service's Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers recommends against it.

Style guides supporting mandatory use

The following American style guides support mandatory use of serial comma:

  • The United States Government Printing Office's Style Manual:

After each member within a series of three or more words, phrases, letters, or figures used with and, or, or nor.

  • "red, white, and blue"
  • "horses, mules, and cattle; but horses and mules and cattle"
  • "by the bolt, by the yard, or in remnants"
  • "a, b, and c"
  • "neither snow, rain, nor heat"
  • "2 days, 3 hours, and 4 minutes (series); but 70 years 11 months 6 days (age)"
  • Wilson Follett's Modern American Usage: A Guide (Random House, 1981), pp. 397-401:

What, then, are the arguments for omitting the last comma? Only one is cogent – the saving of space. In the narrow width of a newspaper column this saving counts for more than elsewhere, which is why the omission is so nearly universal in journalism. But here or anywhere one must question whether the advantage outweighs the confusion caused by the omission ...

The recommendation here is that [writers] use the comma between all members of a series, including the last two, on the common-sense ground that to do so will preclude ambiguities and annoyances at a negligible cost." [3]

  • Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition (University of Chicago Press, 1993) Chapter 5.5:

In a series consisting of three or more elements, the elements are separated by commas. When a conjunction joins the last two elements in a series, a comma is used before the conjunction ...

  • "Attending the conference were Farmer, Johnson, and Kendrick.
  • "We have a choice of copper, silver, or gold." [4]
  • The American Medical Association Manual of Style, 9th edition (1998) Chapter 6.2.1:

Use a comma before the conjunction that precedes the last term in a series.

  • Outcomes result from a complex interaction of medical care and genetic, environmental, and behavioral factors.
  • The physician, the nurse, and the family could not convince the patient to take his medication daily.
  • While in the hospital, these patients required neuroleptics, maximal observation, and seclusion.
  • The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 5th edition (2001) Chapter 3.02:

Use a comma between elements (including before and and or) in a series of three or more items.

  • the height, width, or depth
  • in a study by Stacy, Newcomb, and Bentler
  • The Elements of Style:

    In a series of three or more terms with a single conjunction, use a comma after each term except the last.

Style guides opposing mandatory use

  • The Times style manual:

Avoid the so-called Oxford comma; say 'he ate bread, butter and jam' rather than 'he ate bread, butter, and jam'." [5]

  • The Economist style manual:

Do not put a comma before and at the end of a sequence of items unless one of the items includes another and. Thus 'The doctor suggested an aspirin, half a grapefruit and a cup of broth. But he ordered scrambled eggs, whisky and soda, and a selection from the trolley.' [6]

  • The AP Stylebook:

Use commas to separate elements in a series, but do not put a comma before the conjunction in a simple series: The flag is red, white and blue. He would nominate Tom, Dick or Harry.

Put a comma before the concluding conjunction in a series, however, if an integral element of the series requires a conjunction: I had orange juice, toast, and ham and eggs for breakfast.

Use a comma also before the concluding conjunction in a complex series of phrases: The main points to consider are whether the athletes are skillful enough to compete, whether they have the stamina to endure the training, and whether they have the proper mental attitude.

  • The Australian Government Publishing Service's Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers:

A comma is used before and, or, or etc. in a list when its omission might either give rise to ambiguity or cause the last word or phrase to be construed with a preposition in the preceding phrase: "There were many expeditions, including those of Sturt, Mitchell, Burke and Wills, and Darling." "The long days at work, the nights of intense study, and inadequate food eventually caused them serious health problems." "The sea, the perfume of wisteria, or a summer lunch: any of these revived memories of an easier time." "We needed to know how to get there, what time to get there, the number of participants, etc."

Generally, however, a comma is not used before and, or or etc. in a list: "John, Warren and Peter came to dinner." "Fruit, vegetables or cereals may be substituted." "Why not hire your skis, boots, overpants etc.?"

  • The Guardian Style Guide:

a comma before the final "and" in lists: straightforward ones (he ate ham, eggs and chips) do not need one, but sometimes it can help the reader (he ate cereal, kippers, bacon, eggs, toast and marmalade, and tea)[7]

Trivia

New Zealand poet Elizabeth Smither has written a poem about the serial comma [8], and there is a musical band called Oxford Comma. [9]

References

  • Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Serial commas Wikipedia's policy on serial commas.
  • Style Manual 29th edition, U.S. Government Printing Office (Washington, 2003)
  • The Economist style guide on commas
  • The Times style guide on punctuation
  • The Case of the Serial Comma, The Professional Training Company
  • Oxford comma, a poem by Elizabeth Smither
  • The Chicago Manual of Style: The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers, 15th edition, Chicago University Press, (Chicago, 2003) ISBN 0-226-10403-6
  • Follett, W. (New York, 1981) Modern American Usage Random House Value Publishing, ISBN 0-517-33508-5
  • H. W. Fowler and R.W. Burchfield (Oxford, 2000) The New Fowler's Modern English Usage, third edition, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-860263-4
  • Truss, L. (London, 2003) Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, Profile Books, ISBN 1-86197-612-7

Notes

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ "Planet Ustinov", Nov 22, 1998

External links

  • Rules governing comma usage
  • Wikicities essay on the serial comma
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_comma"

 

 

 


Siti amici:  Lonweb Daisy Stories English4Life
 
Sito segnalato da INGLESE.IT

 

 
CONDIZIONI DI USO DI QUESTO SITO
L'utente può utilizzare il nostro sito solo se comprende e accetta quanto segue:

  • Le risorse linguistiche gratuite presentate in questo sito si possono utilizzare esclusivamente per uso personale e non commerciale con tassativa esclusione di ogni condivisione comunque effettuata. Tutti i diritti sono riservati. La riproduzione anche parziale è vietata senza autorizzazione scritta.
  • Il nome del sito EnglishGratis è esclusivamente un marchio e un nome di dominio internet che fa riferimento alla disponibilità sul sito di un numero molto elevato di risorse gratuite e non implica dunque alcuna promessa di gratuità relativamente a prodotti e servizi nostri o di terze parti pubblicizzati a mezzo banner e link, o contrassegnati chiaramente come prodotti a pagamento (anche ma non solo con la menzione "Annuncio pubblicitario"), o comunque menzionati nelle pagine del sito ma non disponibili sulle pagine pubbliche, non protette da password, del sito stesso.
  • La pubblicità di terze parti è in questo momento affidata al servizio Google AdSense che sceglie secondo automatismi di carattere algoritmico gli annunci di terze parti che compariranno sul nostro sito e sui quali non abbiamo alcun modo di influire. Non siamo quindi responsabili del contenuto di questi annunci e delle eventuali affermazioni o promesse che in essi vengono fatte!
  • Coloro che si iscrivono alla nostra newsletter (iscrizione caratterizzatalla da procedura double opt-in) accettano di ricevere saltuariamente delle comunicazioni di carattere informativo sulle novità del sito e, occasionalmente, delle offerte speciali relative a prodotti linguistici a pagamento sia nostri che di altre aziende. In ogni caso chiunque può disiscriversi semplicemente cliccando sulla scritta Cancella l'iscrizione che si trova in fondo alla newsletter, non è quindi necessario scriverci per chiedere esplicitamente la cancellazione dell'iscrizione.
  • L'utente, inoltre, accetta di tenere Casiraghi Jones Publishing SRL indenne da qualsiasi tipo di responsabilità per l'uso - ed eventuali conseguenze di esso - degli esercizi e delle informazioni linguistiche e grammaticali contenute sul siti. Le risposte grammaticali sono infatti improntate ad un criterio di praticità e pragmaticità più che ad una completezza ed esaustività che finirebbe per frastornare, per l'eccesso di informazione fornita, il nostro utente.

     

    ENGLISHGRATIS.COM è un sito di Casiraghi Jones Publishing SRL
    Piazzale Cadorna 10 - 20123 Milano - Italia
    Tel. 02-36.55.30.40 - email:
    Iscritta al Registro Imprese di MILANO - C.F. e PARTITA IVA: 11603360154
    Iscritta al R.E.A. di Milano n.1478561 • Capitale Sociale
    10.400 interamente versato

    Roberto Casiraghi                                                                                Crystal Jones