Last night, grammar-loving writers, their loyal lovers, and the curious gathered together at Space Gallery in Downtown Portland to watch an Oxford style debate on what else–the Oxford Comma. One hundred people packed the room, wine flowed, and fingers flew tweeting the goings on.
The motion at hand, “The Oxford comma is unnecessary and irrelevant.” Yes, it was one of those motions (not unlike State of Maine ballot initiatives) that makes one wonder which side they’re on. If you were for the comma you were against the motion and vice-versa.
The best part was certainly the packed house, the rowdy audience, and the spirited discussion. Arguing in favor of the Oxford comma was MWPA assistant director Stephen Abbott. Taking a stance against the Oxford comma was author and Sherman’s Books bookseller Josh Christie. Our forefathers were duly represented, as were poets, and let us not forget the children. To parse or not to parse that was the question. The graphic necessity of the punctuation was represented: Box, box, and box.
Each of us let our beginning positions be known and we voted again at the end to see which debater had persuaded the most audience members. The tally was suspect at best and the Oxford comma won the day!
Slightly tipsy lady in the restroom: “It was just so nice to be in a room full of people who give a shit about grammar!”
— Marcela (@marcelaphane) June 18, 2015
For the full Storify story see the tweets, and Instagram photos here.