After three attempts the Brexit 50p is finally about to be released but one keen-eyed author has spotted an error.
For the past three years, Brexit has been wrought with issues.
From delays over the leaving date, two general elections, and three Prime Ministers, very little of the Brexit process has gone according to plan so far.
Something that manages to sum up the whole process perfectly is the Brexit 50p coin which is due for public release on January 31st.
This is, in fact, the third time the coin was supposed to enter circulation thanks to the changing date of Brexit itself, something which has seen over a million coins minted and subsequently melted down before ever entering circulation.
Now though, Brexit looks like more of a certainty and the coins are finally set to be released but there’s still something not quite right with the commemorative 50p according to an acclaimed author.
This coin marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in British history. Let’s look forward with confidence & unleash the enormous potential of our great country. https://t.co/QNpEDHDutz pic.twitter.com/HZDVhEzSXK
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) January 26, 2020
Philip Pullman has his say on the Brexit 50p
Philip Pullman, author of the acclaimed fantasy series His Dark Materials, has called for a boycott of the new Brexit 50p over a supposed grammatical error.
Writing in a tweet on January 26th, Pullman said: “The ‘Brexit’ 50p coin is missing an Oxford comma, and should be boycotted by all literate people.”
The ‘Brexit’ 50p coin is missing an Oxford comma, and should be boycotted by all literate people.
— Philip Pullman (@PhilipPullman) January 26, 2020
It’s sparked the revival of the Oxford Comma Meme
It hasn’t taken long for Philip Pullman’s comments to have an effect and they’ve quickly ignited a revival in a classic internet meme that’s been used to highlight glaring grammatical errors for years.
Commenters wasted no time in taking to social media to offer up their take on the Oxford Comma Meme.
Oxford commas CAN BE VITAL pic.twitter.com/A5I4B5l4Og
— Steve Richer (@steve_r_music) January 26, 2020
It’s a bit like that line, “He was helping his uncle, Jack, off a horse.”
— ⚫️ Brexit Inquisitor #FBPE (@Europa_Unitum) January 27, 2020
My favorite Oxford comma meme: pic.twitter.com/NTBwtdIgBp
— Sam Potter (@s_potter95) September 23, 2019
The Oxford Comma Meme explained
The Oxford Comma Meme stems from the misuse, or lack of use, of the so-called Oxford comma, which is used primarily to clarify meaning in a sentence and is most commonly found in lists.
A good example of the need for an Oxford comma can be found in the sentence “Jane’s favourite things included cooking, her family and her pets,” which suggests that she often cooks members of her own family and her pets.
Whereas this sentence should, in fact, contain an Oxford comma to clarify the meaning: “Jane’s favourite things included cooking, her family, and pets.”
However, in the case of the Brexit 50p, the lack of Oxford comma doesn’t alter the meaning of the sentence on the coin itself.
So, while some could say that there should be an Oxford comma on the coin, it’s debatable that it needs one.