The grammar police are those people who expect everyone to read and write in proper form. They want everything from signs to notices to be grammatically correct. There is no compromise because compromise leads to illiteracy.
These are the claims by novelist Philip Pullman who as called for a boycott of the Brexit 50p coin because it leaves out the Oxford comma.
For those who are not grammar snobs, the Oxford comma is also known as the serial comma. It is the comma placed after the second-to-last (penultimate) item of a list before the conjunction. Its use first appeared in 1894 in Hart’s Rules for Compositors and Readers at the University Press, Oxford. Hart’s Rules has been the defacto standard for English usage since its publication.
The 'Brexit' 50p coin is missing an Oxford comma, and should be boycotted by all literate people.
— Philip Pullman (@PhilipPullman) January 26, 2020
Oxford University Press has updated the rules over the years with the last version published in 2002. Now called The Oxford Style Manual, it does not waiver in its proper use of the Queen’s English. Thus, people like Pullman cling onto it to create an air of superiority.
When there were rumors that the use of the Oxford comma was going to be eliminated from the style guide, reportedly one such snob said, “Are you people insane? The Oxford comma is what separates us from the animals.” The rumors were not true.
Sometimes, the lack of a serial comma can cause problems. In 2014, someone sued a Maine company because the absence of a comma caused an alleged misinterpretation of workplace policies.
But this argument is over a coin.
What is worse is that the phrase used on the coin is being picked apart by grammar snobs everywhere. The phrase on the reverse of the coin, “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations,” was adapted from Thomas Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address. As Jefferson was outlining the principles of his administration, Jefferson included, “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.” With its ties to Jefferson, some suggest its usage will (GASP!) Americanize the Queen’s English!
I thought that the argument over coin designs in the United States is ridiculous. The Brits have surpassed even the most half-witted commentary from the United States.
And now the news…