One of Vampire Weekend’s most popular tunes was clearly inspired by their time at Columbia. Namely, Columbia students’ inclination to defend useless punctuation marks.
“I’d seen there was this Facebook group at Columbia called Students for the Preservation of the Oxford Comma, and that was the first time I’d heard of an Oxford comma. And that appealed to me in a lot of ways, because it has Oxford in it, and I like anything Oxford: Oxford button-downs, Oxford University, all that stuff. But then the fact that it’s a comma, the combination of something like really regal and at the same time, absurd. I remember sitting at my parents’ piano, and that was the first thing that came to my mind: ‘Who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma?’ “
(Although it does not appear to be Columbia-affiliated anymore, a small contingent of Facebook users are holding strong.)
Koenig’s acknowledges that his opinion isn’t always popular:
“I never would have guessed that nine years later, I would almost daily have kids on Twitter making Oxford comma jokes. ‘Oh, by the way Ezra, I DO give a fuck about an Oxford comma!’ I must get that four or five times a week.”
Regardless of our feeling on the Oxford comma, most of us Koenig’s feeling of the MoHi bubble:
“Being at Columbia, you’re a little bit isolated. You get a sense that cool things are happening in Brooklyn, but you don’t feel very much a part of it. As we started to play, even the idea of forming a band then was like a little bit funny.”
But Vampire Weekend found time to get off campus, and they got famous. So maybe so should you.