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I'm trying to make sure my writing is correct for the following sentence:

Our scanners are not affected by rain, snow, glare from the sun, or electrical interference from cell phones, radios, Wi-Fi, etc.

Another case comes later in the same document that I'm working on:

At no additional cost we will customize your scanner with logos, images, or text such as Maintenance, Expiration Date, or anything else your business needs.

Are these structurally correct or do I need to remove the "or" from the first set of items? For example:

At no additional cost we will customize your scanner with logos, images, text such as Maintenance, Expiration Date, or anything else your business needs

In the first sentence all of the electronics are part of the electrical interference, just as in the second sentence "maintenance, expiration date, and anything else" is referring to text.

What is the correct way to structure this?

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2 Answers 2

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At no additional cost, we will customize your scanner with logos, images, text such as "Maintenance" and "Expiration Date," or anything else your business needs.

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A simpler example showing the ambiguity involved is:

You may bring to Hogwarts an animal such as a cat or a ferret or a zowdak.

This may mean either:

You may bring to Hogwarts an animal - such as a cat, a ferret, or a zowdak.

or

You may bring to Hogwarts:

an animal - such as an owl or a ferret,

or

a zowdak.

(Apparently, since Dumbledore transited, nobody knows exactly what a zowdak is.)

You need here some way to distinguish

(A or B or C)

from

(A or B) or C.

Your example is more complicated, and probably needs formatting using bullet points or equivalent:

Our scanners are not affected by

rain, snow, or glare from the sun,

or

electrical interference from cell phones, radios, Wi-Fi, etc.

and

At no additional cost we will customize your scanner with

@ logos

@ images

@ text such as Maintenance or Expiration Date

@ anything else your business needs.

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Thanks, but unfortunately I do not understand the first part of your answer at all. As far as the second part - I'm not looking for an unordered list. I'm looking for the grammatically correct way to do it in a sentence. –  Ryan Nov 1 '13 at 20:41
    
You say: 'I'm trying to make sure my writing is correct for the following sentence: ...' I'm saying that both of your sentences are grammatically correct, but I'd certainly mark the second one wrong in an English exam. As I would 'Call me a sentimental old fool and a taxi' or 'Colourless green ideas sleep furiously'. –  Edwin Ashworth Nov 1 '13 at 22:53

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