Jim, great stuff, ‘Comma Sutra’ is one of the great inspired titles on Medium. (Aside: I’d have left that as the main title, and made the rest the sub-title in that pretty grey font Medium , but that’s just my 2 cents.)
James Britton’s reply is fantastic too, in line with my own feelings on the Oxford comma — and explained in terms of a musician’s sensibilities, to boot!
My main gripe with Oxford-comma evangelists is that they always frame their argument in terms of groan-inducing phrases that I have NEVER come across in real life (“my parents, Mother Theresa and Satan, etc…”) I can counter each of these contrived examples with ones where the Oxford comma actually creates confusion:
I’d like to thank Taylor Swift, my Mom, and the Academy!
The take-away for me is, when in doubt, follow your ear, and if ambiguity remains, there are more elegant ways of untangling a thorny sentence than throwing punctuation at it.