When couples take marriage vows, they promise to stand by each other for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do them part—but they don’t generally promise to stand by each other through differing views on grammar.
However, as all English majors know, grammar debates can get ugly. A recent cartoon by The New Yorker‘s Emily Flake perfectly captures how one of the most agonizing debates between grammar nerds might even manage to get in the way of a marriage.
The cartoon features a woman in conversation with a divorce attorney or counselor of some sort. You can tell from the woman’s face and crossed arms that she’s discussing a serious matter, yet the man is holding his hand out towards her, almost as if to prevent her from commenting further.
So what’s this serious matter they’re chatting about?
Welp, the caption simply reads: “I’m sorry, but refusing to use an Oxford comma isn’t really grounds for divorce.”
The New Yorker dramatically added, “We beg to differ,” representing the two sides in one of the most vicious grammar-related debates of all time.
But hey, if the mighty little Oxford comma has the power to become a determining factor in a court case, it might be a good idea to find out if you and your significant other see eye-to-eye on the controversial serial comma before making any serious commitments.