Re: Stupid millennials
Where's the Oxford comma in “Highlights of his global tour include encounters with Nelson Mandela, an 800-year-old demigod and a dildo collector.”
“Highlights of his global tour include encounters with Nelson Mandela, an 800-year-old demigod, and a dildo collector.” contains an Oxford comma.
By your measure though, it's still ambiguous because it could still be two or three highlights. What should I do - put two commas after "Mandela"?!
I don't need an Oxford comma to rule out Nelson being divine or ancient because I'm not superstitious and I haven't been living in a cave for the past fifty years so I know that he was a person and that people can't be demigods and don't live to 800. This means that the sentence must be referencing three highlights not two or one. One has to be sensible about when something might need a clearer formulation!
An Oxford comma is easy to miss so something that is genuinely ambiguous may still require a double-take even if it has one. If you need to use a screen reader it can be even more confusing.
As for infinitives & prepositions then when I'm writing a CV, product brief or grant proposal you're damn right I avoid split & trailing ones respectively. I've been on both ends of the processes in question and believe me, weeding out the submissions with poor grammar is usually done early on. If you can't be arsed to get that right I have to question your commitment.