I’m glad you liked Eats, Shoots, and Leaves; it is indeed a wonderful book, as you say. But I confess I was surprised when you expressed your disappointment that the author, Lynne Truss, “takes anything less than a fascist attitude toward imposing the Oxford comma”.
If I wrote to you and said, “We stopped by Isaac’s house on our way home, but the only people there were the twins, Jacob and Esau”, could you be sure how many people we met? If you knew the house in question belonged to the Biblical patriarch, you’d be right to think two. But if I’m talking about some other fellow named Isaac, and if he and his wife have a set of twins and at least two other children (whose names are coincidentally scriptural), and if furthermore—here’s the point—you couldn’t depend on my using my commas correctly: then for all you could tell there might have been four people at his house.
So shouldn’t we be “fascists”—to use your highly charged diction!—in imposing, as distinct from toward imposing, this punctuation? Or are you just being careless in your use of prepositions?—as careless, perhaps, as those who fail to discern the importance of this little mark to thoughtful prose!