"I'm a self-employed, nerdy queer girl."

Is that an oxford comma that's omitted, or something else entirely? If it's something else that's omitted, what is it? Why doesn't the oxford comma apply?


1 Answer 1


According to Oxford Dictionaries, the serial comma precedes the word and or the word or. Since neither word appear in that description, then it is not the serial comma that has been ommited.

I do think there should be a comma, however, between nerdy and queer, as that is the usual way to list coördinate adjectives. You can tell that these are coördinate adjectives because they can be rearranged:

I'm a nerdy, self-employed, queer girl.


I'm a queer, nerdy, self-employed girl.

To me those carry pretty much the same meaning.

It is possible that these are cumulative adjectives, if you see queer girl as a single unit, or nerdy queer girl as a single unit. You would have to ask the person describing themselves to be sure.

See this Grammar Girl article for more information.

  • And avoid nerdy queer girl. Oct 7, 2013 at 8:06
  • 1
    And avoid queer, if you meant strange.
    – mplungjan
    Oct 7, 2013 at 8:19
  • 2
    Without the comma (and more context), I would assume that this is a girl who identifies as queer, rather than one who is describing herself as being a bit odd. Oct 7, 2013 at 8:38
  • @mplungjan It's what she styles herself – maezr's quoting. And apparently, Janus is right. Oct 7, 2013 at 10:41
  • @EdwinAshworth If I’d avoided all the nerdy queer girls I came across in this life, I’d’ve had a lot fewer friends, I tell ya. :)
    – tchrist
    Oct 8, 2013 at 2:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.