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Lack of Oxford Comma Costs Company $10 Million

The Oxford Comma is perhaps the most controversial piece of punctuation in the English language. There are conflicting guidelines governing whether or not the extra comma at the end of a list should be used, depending on which authority one consults. Those in opposition say the comma is unnecessary, while supporters of the comma argue that it serves to clarify in instances whether two items are meant to belong together or not (as in "I'd like to thank my parents, Mother Theresa and the Pope.").

The controversy heated up recently, however, when a judge in Maine ruled that a dairy company owed its employees approximately $10 million in unpaid overtime expenses for an absent Oxford Comma which rendered a list of overtime exemptions slightly ambiguous. The ruling reversed the decision of a lower court. Though not an official stance, the lawyer representing the drivers said that in cases of ambiguous sentences, the best rule to live by is: "If there's any doubt, tear up what you have and start over."

Potential Preaching Angles: It is amazing what kind of confusion can be caused by one missing punctuation mark. By the grace of God, however, the Bible is abundantly clear when it comes to the inerrancy of Scripture, the Gospel, and the identity of Jesus Christ. We do not need to fear misunderstandings of either the Bible or the Person of Jesus because it has been revealed as unambiguously as possible: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

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