Breaking News Emails
A viral TikTok about the use of the Oxford comma has been viewed more than 854,000 times on Twitter and sparked debate among grammarians on the site.
The TikTok, which went viral after being shared on Twitter by The Washington Post's Dave Jorgenson, was made by user Kelsie Satterfield, who argues the merits of the punctuation mark in the short video.
Satterfield holds up a whiteboard in the video with the sentence, "I thanked my parents, Batman, and Superman," written on it.
"You're thanking three groups of people. Your parents, Batman, and Superman. Three, right? Right," Satterfield says in the video. "However, if I decided that I want to go and erase that Oxford, then do you know what you'd be saying? You'd be saying that Superman and Batman are your parents."
"The Oxford comma is important and you can't tell me that it's not. So all you journalism writers or people that just don't believe in the Oxford comma can just leave because the Oxford comma is important. That's all I have to say," Satterfield says as the video ends.
Satterfield, 16, told NBC News that she decided to make the video while editing a paper for her sister, who hadn't used the comma.
"I decided to make a fun video on TikTok, and suddenly I received all this attention! It’s a bit surreal, but an amazing experience," Satterfield said via Instagram messenger.
Although, she's passionate about the Oxford comma, Satterfield said it's not something she talks about often.
However, she added, "my friends in school definitely know my opinion."
As the video spread on Twitter, people on both sides of the issue made their stance known.
Nayyera Haq, a SiriusXM radio host, tweeted, "Team #OxfordComma forever."
Eliza Orlins, a public defender in New York City, also tweeted that she was in favor of the comma.
"BEST @tiktok_us ever. Thanks, Kelsie! USE THE OXFORD COMMA!" Orlins wrote.
On the other side of the debate were people like CQ's Kellie Mejdrich, who argued that the Oxford doesn't eliminate confusion, but rather word order does.
"Talk to our editors. They’ll probably tell you an Oxford comma doesn’t really eliminate confusion, word order does. And then they’ll flip your sentence to 'I thanked Batman, Superman and my parents," she wrote.
As the members of grammar Twitter continued to slug it out over the Oxford comma, other Twitter communities seemed grateful to remain out of the fray.
"If you’re ever finding Beer Twitter a bit much then practice some selfcare and have a look at Grammar Twitter absolutely savaging each other about Oxford commas. Brutal stuff," Pilot Beer's account tweeted.