Missing Oxford Comma Costs Dairy $10 million

By March 20, 2017Language, News

Here at For Reading Addicts we’re often seen promoting the use of proper grammar, but so often we’re told that good grammar doesn’t matter. Well here’s proof it does, as a legal wrangle ends in a $10 million bill for a dairy company, and it’s all over a missing Oxford comma.

For those who don’t know, the Oxford or serial comma is used during lists of items. For instance ‘dogs come in many colours, including black, brown, white, grey, and auburn’. For many years there have been arguments about whether the comma is necessary, but we suspect that Oakhurst Dairy in Maine will be ensuring its inclusion in future after a multi-million dollar court case.

Workers at the dairy decided to sue Oakhurt Dairy because they felt that they should have received overtime pay. Maine state laws says that employers are ineligible for overtime pay if they work in “the canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution” of some food products.The workers have successfully argued that the law exempted workers involved in packing for shipment or packing for distribution, rather than exempting both packers and distributors.

Think the Oxford Comma isn’t worth much? Well, this one is worth $10 million as the missing punctuation mark will result in a backdated overtime payment to 75 workers who will split an estimated $10 million! That makes this comma, possibly the most expensive dash of ink every known.

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Those with sight and hearing impairments have various systems to use in order to communicate including sign language and braille.

An early record of the idea of sign language was by philosopher Socrates who said: “If we hadn’t a voice or a tongue, and wanted to express things to one another, wouldn’t we try to make signs by moving our hands, head, and the rest of our body..?”

In Western societies it was as early as the 17th century when hand and finger movements were used to spell out words. The systems have evolved rapidly and now people with hearing impairments have the freedom to communicate as they please. The only disability is when those of us who have no such impairment have, for our shame, not learnt any sign language ourselves…

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Writer Anthony Burgess is best known for his modern classic novel A Clockwork Orange, which centres around a gang who engages in ultra violence whilst speaking in a Russian-influenced style of slang invented by Burgess called ‘Nadsat’. Burgess was fascinated by slang and, over 50 years ago, began writing a slang dictionary, which was thought lost but has now been rediscovered. Read More

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Sometimes life can get just a bit too much and we need an outlet… Somewhere to release the pent up stress and irritation. Occasionally even reading doesn’t help, what with all the negative thoughts floating about our heads, distracting us from truly being absorbed by our favourite books.

This is where a bit of colouring in can help, even if you just stab at the page with a red pencil while screaming obscenities. Regular colouring books are good, adult colouring books are great, but colouring books that swear along with you? They are THE BEST.

Just take a look…

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Every language belongs to a particular language family and this family tree is indeed huge with extensive branches. Latin; a language belonging to the Italian branch of the Indo-European language family, and the mother of romance languages like Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese is considered a dead classical language today. Originally spoken in the Italian Peninsula and once widespread throughout the Roman Empire, it is now a language very rarely used in everyday communication or for official purposes. Though linguists consider this as a dead language, one can say that it lives on in its descendants like Italian, French and even English. Read More

We Only Speak TXTSLNG

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Yo. il meet u 2moro n den we cn dcyd wats 2 b done 4 Claire’s bday. Pls ask Anne 2 join us 2. Oh n I saw d vid u sent. Lol. So kul! Anyway, cu 2moro. Lmk d tym. Gtg.

If you were able to read and understand that entire message perfectly, you officially speak texting lingo.

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