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If the author of this sentence is not a habitual Oxford comma user, the reader doesn’t know if endogenously synthesized cholesterol, the absorption of dietary cholesterol and the reabsorption of biliary cholesterol in the small intestine is a list of three items, or if the comma separates an introductory phrase from an independent clause beginning with two noun phrases. If the reader knows the author is consistent in his use of the final serial comma, there would (should) be no confusion. The problem is the lack of semicolons, not Oxford commas!

It is simply impossible to deny that those lists would be made clearer and less awkward with an Oxford comma. These are good examples of how the consistent use of the Oxford comma can avoid temporary confusion as to the meaning of a sentence: In addition to endogenously synthesized cholesterol, the absorption of dietary cholesterol and the reabsorption of biliary cholesterol in the small intestine also contribute to the regulation of the plasma cholesterol level.

I don’t know about you, but that sentence was temporarily confusing the first time I read it, and today when I browsed my ever-growing list of Oxford comma–needing sentences to find some more good ones to add to this guide, this sentence initially confused me again. Data collection and analysis, biopsy and surgery The tissue was deposited on a single histological slide, identified and fixed with sprayed solution. OCT can generate three kinds of images: traditional (similar to the ones generated by ultrasound), color and inverse (demineralized areas appear in hues of gray or black on a white background) The aqueous layer (1 m L) was precipitated in 1 m L of isopropanol on ice for 1–2 hours, vortexed and centrifuged for 30 min at 4°C and 13,000 rpm.The three treatments are supposed to be an option of Cs A or TAC, MMF, and prednisone.However, without the comma, it looks like it could be two treatments: Cs A or TAC, or MMF and predisone (or even Cs A TAC or MMF prednisone).

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The only reason there could be to omit the final comma is to save space, as most famously prescribed in various (print) newspapers’ style guides, such as the , say to omit the Oxford comma unless clarity requires one.

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