An Oxford comma changed this court case completely

Story highlights

  • Case dealt with a minor mark in a labor law
  • The result was a grammar nerd's dream

(CNN)If you have ever doubted the importance of the humble Oxford comma, let this supremely persnickety Maine labor dispute set you straight.

A group of dairy drivers argued that they deserved overtime pay for certain tasks they had completed. The company said they did not. An appeals court sided with the drivers, saying that the guidelines themselves were made too ambiguous by, you guessed it, a lack of an Oxford comma.
This is what the law says about activities that do NOT merit overtime pay. Pay attention to the first sentence:
    The canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of:
    (1) Agricultural produce;
    (2) Meat and fish products; and
    (3) Perishable foods.