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May 2016

Oxford Comma is a Waste?

Submitted by amy.huhtala on Fri, 05/13/2016 - 13:44
Lily Christensen
Picture Credit:


For the people who have never heard of an Oxford Comma, it is a comma that is used immediately before the coordinating conjunction (usually and or) in a series. It is also known as a serial comma. For example: In Jeff’s backpack, he carries a book, a pen, and an eraser. The Oxford comma is the comma right after “a pen”. This comma is not required, technically it is optional, all up to you, and whatever you prefer. But I am here to tell you, this comma is futile, pointless, and should never be used unless under special circumstances that require that a comma is in place.

The Oxford comma has no right to be in writing. The majority of the time, it is an unnecessary mark, a literal waste of ink. Even though it is optional, why keep it when everyone can discard it? When it is somewhat helpful in specific circumstances, you could just add it in. Most often the case is that there is no need for it to be attached. Sydney Ward, an eighth grader attending Salem Junior High School states her opinion, “The Oxford comma helps distinguish lists and makes a piece of writing look more polished, professional, and complete. It also properly distinguishes between compound and singular terms.” It may distinguish between singular and compound in some cases, but it can be useless altogether as long as you use a little rephrasing. It also doesn’t make a writing look “complete”, it makes a writing look as if it is carrying an unwanted and unwelcome mark. Not only that, if this comma is used constantly it can force hesitancy or confusion in the reader’s head, and slow down the pace of reading. All because of an expendable mark.

Some might argue that the Oxford comma is necessary to keep sentences orderly and intelligible. For example: I love my friends,  Adam Sandler and Olaf. Some might say that without the Oxford Comma this could be interpreted as you love your friends, who are Adam Sandler and Olaf. Although this is a good argument, if you rephrase this poor sentence it would be just as effective as using an Oxford comma.  Amy Huhtala, and English teacher at Salem Junior High, explains how in some cases the Oxford comma should be used to separate ideas, but when Huhtala was growing up, like many others, they were not taught to use it in school. Recently however, many teachers and students do prefer it, and in some cases they count it as incorrect if you don’t add it in. They should not use it because the coordinating conjunction is there for a reason, to take the place of the comma so there is no use for it. That is all.




Lagoon- More than just a field trip

Submitted by amy.huhtala on Fri, 05/13/2016 - 13:40
Lily Christensen
Picture credit:


Annually, our school has the privilege of spending a day at Lagoon. Lagoon is an amusement park, and the trip takes place Wednesday, May 18th. There is many eligibility requirements, fees and other information that you will be able to find in the SaJHS Newsletter in April.

Lagoon has very deep history, that not many people know. For instance, it opened over a hundred years ago (1886). There was many features to the park; roller skating, water sports, a bowling alley, a merry-go-round and many more. In 1899 it moved to the location that is is standing today, in Farmington Utah. With this addition more features were added for thrill-seekers.

In 1906, a ride was added to the collection. This was a Victorian-era Carousel, the crazy thing is that this carousel is still in operation today with 45 handcarved characters. Lagoon also hosts one of the oldest operating wooden roller coasters in the world, it was built in 1921. This coaster speeds up to 45 mph, with 60 foot tall tracks. In 1927 there was a million-gallon, filtered swimming pool installation. Much later in 1989, Lagoon-A-Beach water park replaced the original pool.

A fire hit Lagoon in 1953, burning down much of the park. Half of the Roller Coaster was burnt. Scorch marks on the carousel are still visible today. In 1954 Lagoon was rebuilt with new attractions coming up everywhere.  A well known civil rights advocate, Robert E. Freed, stood up against town ordinances from banning African-Americans from the park. This allowed Lagoon to be entered by any race.

People Magazine has recognized the park, when the mentioned Colossus the Fire Dragon when they named the top 10 roller coasters in the country. There has also been many celebrities that have performed at the park, for example The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix.

Lagoon is a great way to have fun. Summer Wilde, and eighth grader that loves the experience to Lagoon reports her opinion on the park. She states,”I enjoy the variation of rides that they have and the many different sections for rides (Kiddieland, Pioneer Village, etc.)”. Many of the students enjoy Lagoon and we are all stoked to make the trip this year.



May Students of the Month

Submitted by amy.huhtala on Fri, 05/13/2016 - 13:36
Amy Huhtala

From left to right: Madilyn DeGraffenried, Kyler Porter, Caiden Richards, Ethan Bergstrom, Emily Crow (Not pictured: Barbara Weakley.)
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