Challenge: The Case of the Oxford (Blank)
For sherlock_flashfic at dreamwidth


"You need a proofreader."

"What?"

"Your blog. Your comma misuse is appalling."

"What? I know how to use commas." John came in from the kitchen and rudely took his own computer back from Sherlock. "There's tea on the counter," he said absentmindedly, "and there's nothing wrong with the commas here. What are you talking about?"

Sherlock sighed. He was right at the trailing edge of Not-Bored after their (his! not their!) latest case, and he was trying to stave off the inevitable crashing boredom that always awaited him (unless Lestrade were to text with a NEW case! or even Mycroft) by rifling John's computer. Either something interesting to read or a towering row with his flatmate would be an acceptable outcome. Grammar argument? Well, maybe better than nothing. "You need to separate each item in a list with commas, John, including the final item," Sherlock lectured. "You've left out the comma before the coordinating conjunction in every instance."

"Oh, the Oxford comma," John scoffed, putting on a fake Oxonian accent. "Not in journalism."

"Really, John. You're hardly a newspaper reporter. And it's not as if you're saving on lead or ink - there's no additional cost for pixels."

John gave him a calm, level, absolutely deadly look. "It's an on-line journal, isn't it," he said coldly.

Good heavens, that was the exact look he'd give a miscreant before shooting him dead. Sherlock experienced an interesting little shiver of something, not fear exactly, but something. He wasn't entirely sure what to do about it. How novel!

A sudden crash came from downstairs, followed immediately by Mrs. Hudson's shriek of "Fire!" The thread between John and Sherlock broke, and they both ran downstairs to help their landlady deal with a slight cooker explosion.


"There are people who embrace the Oxford comma, and people who don't, and I'll just say this: never get between these people when drink has been taken." Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves