Horns down: Farewell, spring break
It’s usually great to be back in Austin after a break, but spring break isn’t always the best. Sure, South by Southwest is fun if you have deep pockets and are willing to endure hours surrounded by marketing executives who call queso “cheese dip.” But for the rest of us, just going back to the bars we’re used to after SXSW attendees defiled them feels a little dirty. And that’s while nursing sunburns and catching up on homework we didn’t do as well. This week will be rough — it’s just a question of how well we’ll make do.
Oxford comma ruling leaves us divided
Last week, workers in Maine won millions of dollars worth of overtime pay in a class action suit that hinged on the lack of an oxford comma in their contract. They were exempt from overtime pay when working on “the canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of: (1) Agricultural produce; (2) Meat and fish products; and (3) Perishable foods.” The court ruled that packing for distribution was not exempt from overtime pay. If this all sounds ridiculous and unnecessarily technical, we’re here to provide our legally non-binding opinions on the matter. And naturally, we couldn’t agree.
Horns up: Oxford comma rules
In my historically accurate dreams, I went to dinner with the strippers, Lenin, and Stalin. This is plausible, allowing me to sleep undisturbed as I reenact the past in Soviet Russia. But without an Oxford comma, my dream would turn into a nightmare as I realized that Lenin and Stalin were the strippers, that they gyrated their saggy skin on the pole during their times in power. Such is the power of this tiny punctuation mark: to properly organize lists of three or more things so former Soviet heads of state aren’t confused for exotic-dancing heads of state — except when they should be — Caleb Wong
Horns down: The oxford comma is lazy writing
With all due respect to the state of Maine and Ezra Koenig, the Oxford comma deserves not to appear in our pages, as our benevolent AP style overlords have dictated. It would be confusing for me to tell you that I had dinner with my parents, Beyonce and Greg Fenves, but adding in a comma only fixes that if you have the text in front of you. And because our goal is to deliver fresh, mediocre content you can blurt out at your friends over lunch, an Oxford comma isn’t a fix. If you make sure to put your modified terms last on your lists — by organizing the dinner group as “Beyonce, Greg Fenves and my parents” — all of these problems go away. Beyonce is more important than your parents anyway — Alexander Chase