Teenager Sparks Grammar Debate After TikTok Oxford Comma Video Goes Viral
A teenager has attempted to put an end to the Oxford comma debate - and in doing so, has sparked fierce debate.
For those of you who don't spend every day puzzling over the legitimacy of the Oxford comma, here's an explanation. Basically, it's the last comma in a list of three or more, normally used before the word 'and'. Some say it has no place there, others say it can be useful or necessary.
Kelsie Satterfield, from Missouri, USA, belongs to the latter camp. In a TikTok video, the 16-year-old attempted to put the argument to bed using a whiteboard with the sentence 'I thanked my parents, Batman, and Superman' written on it.
In the video, she said: "You're thanking three groups of people. Your parents, Batman, and Superman. Three, right? Right.
"However, if I decided that I want to go and erase that Oxford, then do you know what you'd be saying? You would be saying that Superman and Batman are your parents.
"Are Superman and Batman your parents? No? Then your job as the author is to help your readers know that by using the Oxford comma.
"The Oxford comma is important and you can't tell me that it's not. So all of you journalism writers or people that just don't believe in the Oxford comma can just leave because the Oxford comma is important. That's all I have to say."
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Kelsie's cocksure explanation has been viewed almost three million times, earning the grammar lover plenty of praise.
One person said: "I don't know how anyone can be against the Oxford comma, and if they are, they should watch this."
Predictably though, many people found fault with Kelsie's argument.
One person said: "She's wrong. I don't care if you use the Oxford comma or not, but if you want to imply parentage you have to use a colon. 'I want to thank my parents: Batman and Superman.'
"I appreciate her passion but her rationale is bunk."
Another said: "I'm opposed to the Oxford comma because you can rewrite that sentence, not confuse your readers and save yourself a comma. 'I thanked Batman, Superman and my parents.'"
Jeez guys, can't we all calm down? What difference does punctuation even make anyway?
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to find comfort in my favourite meals, my family and my pets.
Featured Image Credit: TikTok/Kelsie Satterfield