Few pieces of punctuation get people’s blood pumping like the Oxford comma.
The serial comma, as it’s also known, comes before the coordinating conjunction (such as “and” or “or”) in a written list of more than two things. The comma makes the all-important difference between: “I ate soup, cabbage and jelly beans,” and “I ate soup, cabbage, and jelly beans.”
Some say it helps avoid ambiguity, while others say it’s redundant.
And as the Twitter account @CelebrityOxford shows, it’s not just your middle-school English teacher who cares about the contentious comma. Film actors and sci-fi legends have opinions on the matter, too.
@CelebrityOxford has been diligently probing writers and actors to take a side in the Oxford comma debate since October 2014. Rick Mueller, a writer based in Tennessee, appears to be behind the account. (He’s pro.)
Comedian Stephen Fry was one of the first to reply:
The account receives far fewer replies than it sends requests. But the majority of those who do reply are firmly in favor, including actor Lupita Nyong’o, writer Neil Gaiman, and Yahoo exec Marissa Mayer.