I Give a Fuck About the Oxford Comma: A Playlist in Honor of National Punctuation Day

Today is National Punctuation Day! If there’s anything I love more than the serial comma, it’s got to be a Rock & Roll list. So here, I present songs that include punctuation in the lyrics (or at least the songs I could think of off the top of my head. I am sure I’m missing a ton).

Everyday I Write the Book, Elvis Costello: “All your compliments and cutting remarks are captured here in my quotation marks.”

City of Motors, Soul Coughing: “Flicks an ash like a wild, loose comma.”

Oxford Comma, Vampire Weekend: “Who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma?”

I Hear the Bells, Mike Doughty: “Glints in the nights commas and ampersands.”

I Love You Period, Dan Baird: “Please, please exclamation point. I want to hold you in parentheses.”

And another one from Paxton Holley in the comments:

Run-DMC, King of Rock: “We’re causing Hard Times, for Sucka MCs, cause they don’t make no songs like these. PERIOD.”

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  1. M-----l 24.Sep.13 at 10:47 am

    I used to think the Culture Club song was called “Comma Chameleon”.

    1. Jodi 24.Sep.13 at 10:50 am

      I kind of wish it was Comma Chameleon.

  2. Paxton Holley 24.Sep.13 at 11:19 am

    Love this.

    Another entry, Run-DMC “King of Rock”

    “We’re causing Hard Times, for Sucka MCs,
    Cause they don’t make no songs like these.

  3. NBFB 24.Sep.13 at 11:45 am

    Serial commas are awesome. But I give the edge to the serial semi-colon for the following reasons:
    1. I have to use them all the time at work;
    2. hardly ever get to use them outside work; and
    3. that’s about it.

    1. Jodi 24.Sep.13 at 11:46 am

      I will give a “hell yes” to the serial semi-colon. I don’t use it so much in my own writing, but I use it all the time when editing my clients’ writing.

  4. tiptoptom 24.Sep.13 at 3:36 pm

    I only know of one song that contains a semicolon:

    “The World’s a Mess; It’s in my Kiss” by X.

    Here’s a clip with an explanation of the song and a shirtless drummer!


  5. Susanna 24.Sep.13 at 11:37 pm

    Ooh, love this! Even though Mike Doughty is on my shit list for his incessant complaining, and now entirely new album apparently, about perfectly delightful Soul Coughing music. (Not that that has anything to do with punctuation, though it might be nice if there was a special punctuation mark for complaining.)


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