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In a sentence like:

Next to apple, pears, and bananas, a lot of other fruit exists.

Is the comma after bananas needed, allowed, or forbidden? And why?

Is the same true for descriptions with verbs:

Next to fruit that smells of sewerage, looks like dung, or tastes disgusting, a lot of nice fruit in between these extremes exists.

Or is there a neater way of saying this?

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1  
That's not an Oxford comma. The Oxford comma is the one after pears. –  phenry Jan 31 at 23:01
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There certainly is a more appetizing way of saying that. Why be bothered with neatness when surrounded with such fruit? –  medica Jan 31 at 23:04
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@phenry read carefully: the comma AFTER the NOUN of the Oxfort comma. Ergo the noun following the Oxford comma. –  Franz Kafka Jan 31 at 23:14
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Next to the apples, pears, and bananas, a lot of other fruits were temptingly displayed on the stall. / Next to the bananas, a lot of other fruits were temptingly displayed on the stall. The list has nothing to do with the advisability of using the comma. –  Edwin Ashworth Jan 31 at 23:18

1 Answer 1

The trailing comma after your list clause is allowed and indeed recommended, as it does not violate any rule of comma use and improves the readability of the quotation relative to the same text lacking the comma.

You should, however, endeavor to re-word to avoid, as the writing is relatively clumsy. But that's a stylistic choice, rather than a grammatical one. A simple fix would be to move the clause to either a distinct sentence, enclose the list in parenthesis or a subordinate clause, or move the second clause to the beginning of its sentence.

Examples of "fruit" are apples, pears, and bananas. But next to these, a lot of other fruit exists.

or

Next to common fruit (apple, pears, and bananas), a lot of other fruit exists.

or

Next to common fruit, such as apple, pears, and bananas, a lot of other fruit exists.

or

A lot of other fruit exists next to apples, pears, and bananas.

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