The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #132499   Message #4067515
Posted By: Lighter
06-Aug-20 - 01:15 PM
Thread Name: BS: Language Pet Peeves
Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
Jeri, you evidently received different advice than I did - quite likely, since my memory goes back to the Eisenhower administration.

Commas ordinarily do go between items in a simple series:

"funeralize, aircrafts, blaring, and fast." (The last is allegedly optional.)

But ("never begin a sentence with 'but'") a series connected with coordinating conjunctions is (or was) for some mystical reason distinct:

"funeralize or aircrafts or blaring or fast."

I find the commas useful for emphasis, but those who never learned the "rule" of omitting them won't even notice.

For some perspective, imagine how they felt in the tenth and eleventh centuries, when all those grammatical endings were falling off their words. Chaos! (Or did people even care?)