If anyone’s gonna do the obligatory “Hi, Opal!” joke, they should get it out of the way now.
Anyhow, I was doing some research a few minutes ago and was unreasonably bothered, as is my wont, by a list with three items and only one comma, like so:
I learned in school that one should put a comma after all but the last item in a three item list. Increasingly, however, I’ve seen lists without that final comma, even in formal papers, books, and newspaper articles. I find this disturbing. I’m a pedant.
So my question is: has “no comma between penultimate item and final item” become the standard? Or is it widely used but nevertheless still incorrect?
Do I buy peaches, apricots, and nectarines? Or do I buy peaches, apricots and nectarines?