Bowing to the whims of convention, conformity, and consistency, Mike Mooers and Wicked Good Copy & Communications will cease use of the serial comma effective immediately, except in specific circumstances requiring its use. *
According to Mooers, he used the serial, or Oxford, comma for a simple reason: “It makes stuff easier to read – it’s the sophisticated person’s bullet point.”
But as his clients began to lean more and more heavily on the AP Style Guide (arguably created to cram more words into column inches, and not to enhance the reader experience), Mooers crawled off of his high horse and acquiesced.
Practical reasons abound, primarily a desire for consistency with previously created collateral that did not employ the serial comma, but Mooers also sees an emotional reason to surrendering the practice – the word “serial”.
Mooers: “Now, I like cereal, as I imagine most of my clients do, but ‘serial’ is different and has some bummer connotations – bad TV miniseries, Zodiac-type killers – stuff like that,” says Mooers. “Still, you’d think that using the serial comma would be the smart person’s choice. I may not have been smart enough for Oxford, but I can sure as heck use their comma.”
Mooers remains convinced that the serial comma is the wave of the future, and recognizes that it will have its day. “I would hate to see a foolish adherence to a style keep my clients from getting on the right side of history, but change has an arc, and that arc can be slow, so until we come to the other side of the curve I will wait, comply and do my best to meet my beloved clients’ needs."
Mooers will be attending Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. If you'd like to spend some time discussing the serial comma, please arrange a time by contacting him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Wicked Good Copy & Communications: Based in the Sierra Foothills town of Nevada City, CA, Wicked Good has been delivering brand-crafted copy for a variety of clients, including KEEN, Gaiam, Discovery Communications and Mountain Hardwear. Mike Mooers, the company's founder and creative force, has a proven two-decade copywriting background, with a focus on the outdoor, fitness and snowsports industries. He founded Wicked Good Copy & Communications in late 2010. Facebook Wicked Good, LinkedIn Wicked Good, Contact Wicked Good.
*Please note that use of the Oxford Comma in this sentence was made prior to the term “effective immediately.”