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Can a repeated noun be left out in a conjunction? The particular example I am thinking of is a sentence that starts:

Element A and element B....

Which I would shorten as:

Element A and B...

I know I can do this with a definite article or a normal modifier, but if you can't leave out the noun, it should actually be:

Elements A and B...

Which is correct?

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

A search in CocA suggests that they are both used among journalists and authors and therefore both are considered correct. It appears that the plural version is more commonly used though.

Coca result

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Note that where it appears to be singular, the noun is attributive (used as an adjective): "class A and B schools"; "influenza A and B cultures"; "class A and B licenses". The main noun is always plural. –  Andrew Leach Mar 4 '13 at 10:11
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That's a single, spoken, example (from PBS Newshour). Speech is less careful than writing. –  Andrew Leach Mar 4 '13 at 10:35
    
I resolved to use plural then, since it seems to fit in with general usage. –  wds Mar 5 '13 at 12:43
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