‘Keith Urban Fighting Nicole Kidman?’ Post grammar gaffe roasted with memes

A publication’s story involving Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman has gained traction for all the wrong reasons. An unfortunate syntax error ended up reversing the meaning of what the article was trying to convey. The article, which recounts how Nicole “saved” Keith’s life, featured an excerpt “Singer shares how he battled addiction, music and his wife Nicole Kidman”. Although the intent of the sentence is pretty clear, the absence of the Oxford comma is a bit of a grammatical disaster, according to Twitter users. With this framing, the line ends up expressing that Keith actually fought Nicole and the music, as well as his addiction.

Some have argued that grammar and sentence structuring, not just syntax, are to blame. One Twitter user wrote, “The way I am instructed to know that this punctuation is correct in AP Style, which is the widely accepted style in journalism… the real enemy is the order of the list not the punctuation. Many others accepted.

The use of the Oxford comma is highly controversial with one school believing its existence is unnecessary, but the publication’s syntax gaffe makes many of them think again.

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Jacob L. Thornton