Oxford Comma

The Oxford or serial comma is a comma placed immediately before a coordinating conjunction (and, or) in a series of 3 or more items.

In literature, the Oxford comma can clarify the meaning of a sentence and allow you to avoid misunderstandings. Compare the following: This book is dedicated to my parents, Lady Gaga and Marilyn Manson and This book is dedicated to my parents, Lady Gaga, and Marilyn Manson.

In technical documentation, the Oxford comma can barely clarify the meaning of a sentence. Compare the following: With Veeam Backup & Replication, you can perform backup, replication and restore procedures and With Veeam Backup & Replication, you can perform backup, replication, and restore procedures.

Many style guides, including the Chicago Manual of Style, recommend that you use the Oxford comma no matter what. Yet others, including the Associated Press Style Guide and the University of Oxford Style Guide, recommend that you use the Oxford comma only when a sentence without the comma could be misinterpreted by the reader.

In Veeam technical documentation, we have decided to use the Oxford comma only when a series of items in a sentence contains multiple modifiers.

Examples

  1. With Veeam Backup & Replication, you can efficiently archive multiple backup files to tape at once using the same media pool, reduce tape consumption but maintain long retention policies with a dedicated media pool, and automatically copy backup files produced by Veeam backup jobs.
  2. Click Custom Level, scroll down to the User Authentication options, and select the Automatic Logon with Current User Name and Password option.
  3. In the Domain and Account fields, enter the user or group name and domain to which the user or group belongs, and click Find.
  4. If your SMTP server requires authentication, switch to the Configuration tab, select the Use Authentication check box, and specify authentication credentials in the User and Password fields.
  5. You can pass various parameters into the script, including credentials, runtime variables (such as vm_name, plan_state and so on), and any other custom parameters you require.
  6. When a plan is in the IN USE mode, you can switch to the Plan Details page, select a VM being recovered in the Virtual Machines colum, and click the VM Console link to connect directly to the VM desktop.
  7. To generate a report based on a modified template, you must create a clone of an out-of-the-box template, edit the template using Microsoft Word integration, and select it as the Report Template for the plan.
  8. This will reset the current state, clear the change log and return all parameter settings to their default values. [no comma required]
  9. For more information on how to group VMs using a single property, vCenter Server tags and multiple conditions, see the full User Guide. [no comma required]
  10. VAO adds the capability to easily create multiple test environments, perform full application verification and generate detailed reporting. [no comma required]
  11. Backup infrastructure objects: backup repositories, scale-out backup repositories, tape libraries and tape vaults. [no comma required]
  12. The solution leverages the backup, replication, failover and restore capabilities of Veeam Backup & Replication. [no comma required]
  13. The solution allows you to automate deployment, configuration and management of Veeam backup agents. [no comma required]
  14. Virtual infrastructure objects: vCenter Servers, datacenters, clusters and hosts. [no comma required]
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