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Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. –H.L. Mencken

Friday Music: Traffic Tickets Do Not Save Lives, Punctuation Does


Editor’s note: Please pardon the language in today’s musical selection. Try to think of it as an amplifier rather than an expletive.

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“Who give[s] a f— about an Oxford Comma?” Well, I do. The loss of the Oxford Comma is one of the indicators that we are a society in decline. Take, for example, a list that is not entirely parallel: The state police serve in a variety of roles, including: traffic monitoring, breaking and entering and doughnut eating. A bit uncomfortable, is it not? This formulation seems to separate traffic monitoring from other activities of the state troopers. Even relocating the compound activity to just before the comma creates another problem rather than solving the matter at hand. However, simply add in the Oxford comma after ‘breaking and entering’ and the sentence sounds and feels perfectly normal. Of course, some would argue the Oxford comma is bastion of laziness and deficient writing. This, however, is a startling example of the modern obsession with making something simpler (writing, in this case) by increasing its complexity. The Oxford comma allows a poorly written sentence to be understood readily and takes nothing away from the eloquence of a wordsmith. Only the arrogance of a people whose educational standards are in decline could forswear the marker of a natural pause in the phrase: We love listening to Iron and Wine, Belle and Sebastian, and Vampire Weekend.

“Oxford Comma”

Who gives a f— about an Oxford comma?
I’ve seen those English dramas too
They’re cruel
So if there’s any other way
To spell the word
It’s fine with me, with me

Why would you speak to me that way
Especially when I always said that I
Haven’t got the words for you
All your diction dripping with disdain
Through the pain
I always tell the truth

Who gives a f— about an Oxford comma?
I climbed to Dharamsala too
I did
I met the highest lama
His accent sounded fine
To me, to me

Check your handbook
It’s no trick
Take the chapstick
Put it on your lips
Crack a smile
Adjust my tie
Know your boyfriend, unlike other guys
Why would you lie about how much coal you have?
Why would you lie about something dumb like that?
Why would you lie about anything at all?
First the window, then it’s to the wall
Lil’ Jon, he always tells the truth

Check your passport
It’s no trick
Take the chapstick
Put it on your lips
Crack a smile
Adjust my tie
Know your butler, unlike other guys
Why would you lie about how much coal you have?
Why would you lie about something dumb like that?
Why would you lie about anything at all?
First the window, then it’s through the wall
Why would you tape my conversations?
Show your paintings
At the United Nations
Lil’ Jon, he always tells the truth

One comment on “Friday Music: Traffic Tickets Do Not Save Lives, Punctuation Does

  1. Pingback: A Happy Birthday Nota Bene | Curmudgeons.net

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