Blowing My Cover

Now that my FringeArts internship is winding down (this is my last week), I think it’s time to come clean. You may have thought that I took this internship because of my love of the arts, my affection for editing, or my fondness for my coworkers. Fools! I have actually been here undercover, furthering my own agenda. That’s right, I have been abusing my vast powers as the FringeArts guide and information management intern to subtly propagate the Doctrine of the Oxford Comma.

Why am I blowing my cover now? Because the Festival Guide has already gone to print, and with it, all my imbedded propaganda! (*Cue evil laugh here.) Now bask in these screen shots from the Festival Guide, or, as I like to think of it, The Comma-ist Manifesto:

Check out that oxford comma.

Check out that Oxford comma.

Oh wow you guys, there are three oxford commas in here.

Oh wow you guys, there are three Oxford commas in here.

Picture 8

There are zero commas here. I just thought it was a very important sentence.

Those are very black-and-white. Here’s something for your color-deprived eyes:


Because poison dart frogs are awesome, that’s why. Photo from FactsColumn.

I hope you appreciate my restraint. You wouldn’t believe how many Oxford comma examples I screenshotted (screenshot? screenshot-ed?), but I figured this post was already pushing the limits of what anyone would willingly sit through, so I held back.

In the name of diversity of expression, I will leave you with this guest appearance by the vocative comma:

Oh hey, vocative comma.

Oh hey, vocative comma.

So now you know. You’ll never again be able to see the Festival Guide as anything but a tool of the system (the system, of course, being me). But hey, if you do still wanna see the Guide after this confession, you can join us at our Guide Launch party this Friday, Aug 1, featuring plant-generated music and a complimentary beer for you over-21-ers.

—Miriam Hwang-Carlos


  1. I appreciate the enthusiasm for punctuation, and I hope you’ll be encouraged that I’ve been furthering the cause over here in France. I’ve been diligently adding both Oxford and vocative commas wherever appropriate in these comic books I’ve been working with. Both France and comic books are, unfortunately, sadly conservative in their comma theory. The head editors are, nonetheless, slowly becoming more receptive…

    • Copy editors of the world, unite!

  2. A nut off the same tree. ;)

  3. The Oxford comma is the comma for me. I don’t know if I’d be able to work at my magazine if they didn’t use it.

  4. Thanks for making my evening!


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