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Jonathan Stern Publishes “The Oxford Comma: Use It or Lose…”


Jonathan M. Stern authored the Writers’ Corner column for the February 2018 issue of DRI’s For the Defense, “The Oxford Comma: Use It or Lose…”


Stern writes: “Remember the NBC television show Ed? Ed Stevens bought a bowling alley in his small Midwestern hometown after losing his job as an associate with a large Wall Street law firm. Ed lost his law firm job because he misplaced a comma in a contract. Omitted and misplaced commas have played a role in many cases. . . . The goal of all legal writing should be clarity. Whether writing a contract, a will, or a legal brief, we should strive to avoid ambiguity; ‘omitting the final comma may cause ambiguity whereas including it never will.’”


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