The Oxford Comma and the Law

The legal dispute between the Oakhurst Dairy and its drivers has been settled. As widely reported in the media, the dispute hinged on the use, or omission, of the Oxford comma. But the media, or at least the New York Times, is still getting it wrong. The ambiguity in the law was never just about the Oxford comma. The court ruled that the law as a whole was badly worded and ambiguous and made its ruling based on the legislative intent of the law, not the punctuation.

The latest New York Times article says that because of the settlement we’ll never get a legal ruling on the Oxford comma, but again, that’s wrong. The court had resolved the ambiguity in the law in favor of the drivers, and the ongoing proceedings were to determine the facts of the case and what damages, if any, were to be awarded the drivers. The settlement puts an end to that process.

The story, in all its grammatical detail, as I wrote it on 17 March 2017:

Read the rest of the article...
Powered by ExpressionEngine
Copyright 1997-2018, by David Wilton