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I have a sentence like this:

As you can see, there are two projects "project1" and "project2", where the latter uses the global wrapper functions defined in "project1" project.

My question is how do I correctly write this sentence in terms of enumerating words "project1" and "project2". What I thought of was adding a colon like this:

As you can see, there are two projects: "project1" and "project2", where the latter uses the global wrapper functions defined in "project1" project.

But somehow this doesn't feel fine. Can you please advise?

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Why not just use a comma where you have a colon, and set off the names as a parenthetical insertion? –  Andrew Leach Feb 14 '13 at 13:47
    
oh, excelent, you mean like this: there are two projects ("project1" and "project2") where the... –  Nikola Feb 14 '13 at 13:54
    
Either that, or just use commas. There are two projects, project1 and project2, where the... –  Andrew Leach Feb 14 '13 at 13:55
    
ok, great that can work for me - you can make it an answer so I can accept it. thx! –  Nikola Feb 14 '13 at 13:56
    
I'd also recommend either defined in the "project1" project or better still, just defined in "project1". As is isn't wrong, but the repetition just reads a bit strangely. –  Jon Hanna Feb 14 '13 at 14:04

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

[Using "project1" and "project2" can be clumsy, so I'm going to call them Alpha and Beta instead. There are some minor changes to word-order because of that.]

The list of projects isn't essential to the sentence (if the reference to "the latter" is removed as well):

As you can see, there are two projects, where Beta uses the global wrapper functions defined in project Alpha.

To insert something into that sentence, put it in parenthesis — either using brackets or commas or dashes:

As you can see, there are two projects, Alpha and Beta, where the latter uses the global wrapper functions defined in project Alpha.

As you can see, there are two projects (Alpha and Beta) where the latter uses the global wrapper functions defined in project Alpha.

As you can see, there are two projects — Alpha and Beta — where the latter uses the global wrapper functions defined in project Alpha.

With this, a pedant would say that you cannot use "the latter" to refer to Beta. Parenthetical content should be able to be removed without changing the sense of the sentence.

It's actually easier to read if you repeat the word Beta, because the reader doesn't have to go back to find out what "the latter" is. And it satisfies the pedants. I like dashes, but commas would work.

As you can see, there are two projects — Alpha and Beta — where Beta uses the global wrapper functions defined in project Alpha.

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As a sidenote, parenthesis in "American" English are the rounded brackets, (), but the parenthetical business of the commas would be the same. As for the dashes, it might be a little non-standard for the US, but punctuation is often a stylistic and individualized concern. –  Adam Feb 15 '13 at 9:28
    
@Adam Are you sure rounded brackets are not called parentheses (plural)? Parenthesis is the rhetorical device. –  Andrew Leach Feb 15 '13 at 11:13
    
Yes, parenthesis also appears to be the singular of parentheses--I missed that nuance when looking it up but won't make that spelling mistake again. –  Adam Feb 15 '13 at 16:09
    
I would ordinarily call the parenthesis an appositive phrase rather than a parenthesis, to avoid confusion with the punctuation name--That isn't really an issue though if you call the parentheses brackets. –  Adam Feb 15 '13 at 16:23
    
It might also have been a bit clearer if I had put the in in italics too: "put it in parenthesis." –  Andrew Leach Feb 15 '13 at 16:56

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