Grammar

Typo Leads to Calls for Brexit Coin Boycott

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Would you ever guess a typo would prompt a Brexit coin boycott in the United Kingdom? If you did, you might not guess the nature of the typo itself.

A children’s author wants everyone to join a Brexit coin boycott after he discovered a typo.

Although some probably wouldn’t consider that “error” an error at all.

The Mirror reports that Sir Philip Pullman called for a boycott of the government’s commemorative Brexit 50p coin. He made the decision after reading a message on the coin itself, which doesn’t enter circulation until Jan. 31.

Look carefully: How long does it take you to find the problem:

“Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations.”

You’re probably trying to decide which word is misspelled. It’s easy when you write to find that your eyes sometimes correct transposed letters as they see them. That’s why it’s always a challenge copyediting your own work.

A handful of you will already have spotted the typo that insensed Pullman.

If you haven’t, yet, don’t feel too badly about it.

Clearly, you’re not all that concerned about the Oxford Comma.

People use commas to separate items in a list. The Oxford Comma is that “extra” comma that comes between the next-to-last (or penultimate) item and the word and.

If the coin contained that Oxford Comma, it would have looked like this:

“Peace, prosperity, and friendship with all nations.”

Note the extra comma after prosperity. That’s what we call the Oxford Comma.

Some people feel your work is completely nongrammatical without it. Others think it adds nothing and is therefore unnecessary.

I use it to avoid confusion: When the items in the list are each compound words, the Oxford Comma can make the sentence easier to process.

But as for boycotting a coin over this? I’m really glad I don’t like the Oxford Comma that much!

Do you use the Oxford Comma? Does the coin bother you without it?

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.