Thursday, May 12, 2016

Zoe vs. the Oxford Comma:
A Parody of J.Lo's "Ain't Your Mama"

Like most five-year-old girls, when Zoe tells a story, she never stops to take a breath. Her sentences string together without pause so that the listener is bombarded with "and thens" where a previous statement often has no direct causal relation to what follows:
"And then I shot him with my icy powers and then I ruled the world and then I had a grilled cheese sandwich and juice and a cookie for lunch and watched Bubble Guppies."
Nary an oxford comma in sight.


The Oxford comma, otherwise known as the serial comma, is used when a sentence lists three or more nouns, verbs, or adjectives in a row. The serial comma's there so the reader won't get confused. And it's only necessary to the proper functioning of civilization, that's all. 
I feel a bit strongly about it.
You've maybe seen the meme: "Let's have a party and invite the strippers, JFK and Stalin." Without the Oxford comma, we are calling Stalin and JFK strippers, thus ruining the reputations of countless strippers, because, let's face it, proper serial-comma using people---heroes, really---would give these two former world leaders money to keep their clothes on.
I feel so strongly about the Oxford comma I wrote a song about it. It's a parody of J.Lo's new song "Ain't Your Mama." Have you heard it yet? It's a stirring tribute to feminism I've re-purposed for a subject I'm even more passionate about than women's rights.
Presenting "Use the Oxford Comma."

Use the Oxford Comma
Those who write the right way, use Oxford comma
Work, study, and at play, use Oxford comma
Use Oxford comma, boy, use Oxford comma
When you gotta string three actions together,
Use Oxford comma
Yeah, the Oxford comma
Yeah, the Oxford comma, yeah

Sit down, pen in hand (yeah yeah yeah)
Time to make a stand (yeah yeah yeah)
No more ifs, ands, or buts (yeah yeah yeah)
Talking proper usage: Grammar, grammar

I'm sure you'll agree, with items of three,
To express yourself serially
Why would you eschew what's clear as could be?
Cause commas make it clear, commas make it clear
Does this go with that?

Those who write the right way, use Oxford comma
Yesterday, tomorrow, and today, use Oxford comma
Use Oxford comma, girl, use Oxford comma
When you gotta list three things together,
Use Oxford comma
Yeah, the Oxford comma
Yeah, the Oxford comma, yeah

Nouns, adjectives, and verbs (yeah yeah yeah)
At least three in a row? Don't swerve. (yeah yeah yeah)
No more ifs, ands, or buts (yeah yeah yeah)
Talking proper usage. Grammar, grammar

Sentence with nouns numbering three
Express yourself serially
Insert the right punctuation
Exception ampersand, don't use them with that
Just remember that, hey

Those who write the right way, use Oxford comma
Book report, e-mail, or essay, use Oxford comma
Use Oxford comma, boy, use Oxford comma
When you gotta string three actions together,
Use Oxford comma
Yeah, the Oxford comma
Yeah, the Oxford comma, yeah

[End by gathering the neighbors, blocking traffic, and performing a rousing dance sequence.]

Zoe: 135; Universe: 0

For more of Zoe's hijinks, follow me on Facebook and on Twitter at @zoevsuniverse
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1 comment :

  1. "Exception ampersand" is a pure genius lyric.

    ReplyDelete