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15
votes
6answers
12k views

Equivalent of “former” and “latter” for more than 2 items

Former and latter are valid only when there are two choices. If I have a list of more than two items, is there an elegant way to say the first one or the last one?
12
votes
5answers
8k views

Is it proper to use a colon followed immediately by a hyphen?

I have seen some writing where people have a list or a figure in writing and they will write something like this: The information is provided in Image 3:- Is that correct? Is this a British ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

How should lists of questions be punctuated?

If one wishes to pose a series of questions in the form of a list, how would one go about punctuating that list? For example: I write to a colleague asking for an update on a project he is working ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Where can I find a list of common padding words?

Like a lot of people, I actually have the habit of actually adding a lot of actual padding words when I actually write. A common one I use is actually. These are actually rarely worth keeping, ...
9
votes
2answers
6k views

Singular or plural following a list

Can anyone tell me if I should use inspire or inspires in this phrase? An extraordinary leader whose vision, values, integrity and boundless curiosity inspires all who follow in his footsteps.
9
votes
2answers
32k views

Use of capitals and full stops in bullet points [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Capitalization for a bullet list Let's say I have a bullet point list e.g: Point 1. Point 2. Point 3. Notice I have put a capital letter for the starting letter of ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Periods for bullet point items

In a 'bulleted' list should items that happen to be complete sentences end with a period?
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Capitalization for a bullet list

The following is from some software documentation we are writing: NOTE: Refreshing a report may be necessary or helpful when: you believe the data in the report has changed since it was ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

How to punctuate lists that are nested to three levels?

A basic list is punctuated like this: The park has some bears, deers, and other animals. (bears) (deers) (other animals) When commas appear inside the items of a list, or when lists appear ...
7
votes
2answers
596 views

How to punctuate lists in general?

(1) How to punctuate lists in general? (2) also, what case to use? In the case study, signal comparison could be used for: • signals from redundant channels of emergency stop button, • output ...
6
votes
4answers
9k views

Either and vs. Either or

(1) In this question on math.SE a question about the meaning of 'either' before a list which ends with 'and'. The meaning of either a, b, c, or d is from this answer sort of clear in that it means ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

What is a word for food preferences?

What single word would you use to describe a list of food preferences, which includes: Allergies (e.g., shellfish) Sensitivities (e.g., lactose intolerant) Dislikes (e.g., Brussels sprouts) Likes ...
6
votes
3answers
871 views

survivors list grammar question

Obituaries often include lists with this grammatical structure: John Doe is survived by his children, Steve Doe and his wife, June; Will Doe and his wife, Janet; Susan Richards and her husband, ...
5
votes
1answer
5k views

Use of the possessive apostrophe in a list

If I was to label something The Poets and Painters' Distillery do I only apply the possessive apostrophe after 'Painters' as in the text written above, or do I also need to apply one to ...
5
votes
2answers
942 views

Punctuation when using a list of adjective pairs set apart by “yet”

I'm proofreading something, and came across this sentence: We believe the strength of our design is in our ability to be dynamic yet focused, clean yet inviting and organized yet exploratory. It ...
5
votes
1answer
340 views

should a list of tokens be called a “token list” or a “tokens list” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “User accounts” or “users account?” I ask because a list of tasks would usually be called a "task list". However a list or previous winners of a ...
4
votes
5answers
410 views

What's the right punctuation for the following list?

Many cases of animal suicide were discused. A duck drowned itself after the death of its companion. A school of dolphins stranded on a beach with no reason whatsoever. A deer threw itself from ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

Colon use when introducing a list split across sentences

I understand that a colon should be used to introduce a list: We required three ingredients: eggs, milk and butter. However, what happens if there is a full stop between list elements? We ...
4
votes
1answer
111 views

Toll Booths 1,2 and 5

Suppose I have a collection of numbered items, say toll booths that are numbered from 1 to 10. Consider three sentences: Toll booth 4 is closed today. Toll booth 1, toll booth 2, and toll ...
4
votes
2answers
7k views

Conjunction use: “and” or “or” in list of examples

When giving a list of examples, it seems to me "and" should be used because all the items in the list are examples, not just one of the items: I love fruit (e.g., apples, oranges, and bananas). ...
4
votes
1answer
161 views

Using “nor” at the end of a list begun with “no” [duplicate]

Which is correct? "The book has no marks, tears, wrinkles or writing." "The book has no marks, tears, wrinkles nor writing." (I understand the use of neither/nor and either/or.) In ...
3
votes
5answers
11k views

Semicolons at the end of list items

In school, we were taught to end each list item with a semicolon. But I have never actually seen this. Can somebody please confirm this? Should we end each list item with anything at all? I've seen ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

Punctuation to introduce a list: comma vs. colon vs. nothing

Which of these sentences is written correctly? Angela has three brothers, Mark, Adam, and Ryan. Angela has three brothers: Mark, Adam, and Ryan. Angela has three brothers Mark, Adam, and ...
3
votes
2answers
658 views

Alphabetical listing of film names with articles

I am making a list of movies, where should I put films that contain articles in their names? I know normally articles are ignored but in this context the naming is also part of a film's design, so ...
3
votes
1answer
886 views

Is it correct to use the conjunction “or” more than twice in one sentence?

For an example is it correct to say: You may use X or Y or Z or even something else. And what is proper punctuation for such example in case it is valid.
3
votes
1answer
762 views

Semicolon as a super-comma preceding “etc.”

I was wondering which punctuation to use preceeding etc. in an enumeration with semicolons as supercommas (as formulated here: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/semicolon). People with dichromatic ...
3
votes
1answer
870 views

Singular or Plural Before List? [duplicate]

I'm trying to write a list of features available in my product, and I'm confused what the title should be: Should I say "Features List" (features are plural) or "Feature List" (feature is singular). ...
3
votes
2answers
159 views

Listing of items in order of their effectiveness

In a research paper, how do I list things in order of their effectiveness? For example, The order of antagonistic effect of acetic acid against E. coli O157:H7 was salt > glycine > glucose > ...
3
votes
1answer
794 views

Use of the plural with list, and when item count is 0 [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “user accounts” or “users account”? I keep asking myself which form is the most correct when listing items on a website: "Article list" or ...
3
votes
3answers
215 views

Use of semi-colons vs commas when listing items with colons

I have a list of classes (titles) which have colons as a part of the titles, in this list should I use commas or semi-colons to separate them? (there are no items which have commas internally to them) ...
2
votes
3answers
175 views

Confusion on listing in sentences

"I hate hard candy and olives." When someone says that, does it mean they hate candy and olives that are both hard, or hard candy and non-hard olives? If the latter, then wouldn't "I hate olives and ...
2
votes
1answer
770 views

How to express a list within a sentence?

I always forget how to express a list within a sentence. Let's say I have the following sentence: I attached two files, files and database. Can I use a "-" or a ";" instead of the comma? ...
2
votes
7answers
153 views

How to write a pair of pairs without sounding awkward

I am attempting to write a list of pairs of people, like so: "The pairings are Bob and Jane, Joe and Mary, and Fred and Ashley." This works fine in that the comma lets you know where each pairing is ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Comma after e.g. list

I am unsure whether to use comma after the example list while using e.g. Any ideas? these functions, e.g., delay, capacity, throughput, represent better... or these functions, e.g., delay, ...
2
votes
2answers
132 views

What is the 'last_name, first_name' format called?

Is there a name for the format of listing names by 'Last name, first name'? For example, how names were listed in phone books when those existed. Ex: this list of names is sorted (blank style): ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

Proper usage of “is” and “are” when specifying multiple nouns

This is one thing I never really bothered looking into, but have always been unsure of. punching, kicking, slapping or slashing [is/are] strictly prohibited That's what I'm trying to determine. ...
2
votes
2answers
62 views

Using colon at end of a list

Although I do not know the name of the rule, I do understand that a colon is typically used to elaborate on a single thought or idea. For example: "I love all types of burritos: Californian, ...
2
votes
1answer
102 views

Plurals in titles of lists regardless of number of items

Not sure how to describe it, so here is an example. This looks right, even though “tests which failed” has only one item in the list: Tests which failed Test #1 Tests which passed ...
2
votes
2answers
194 views

What is the rule of using semicolons in this sentence? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it proper usage to replace a comma in a list with a semi-colon in this situation (see details)? Transglobal historians are muscling up with their magnum opuses; ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Are em dashes acceptable in lists?

I often see lists written as follows (using em dashes to elaborate a list item): Item 1—explanation for item 1 Item 2—explanation for item 2 Is this generally correct, or are colons preferable?
2
votes
1answer
50 views

Confusing 'and' in short lists

I am correcting technical writing for a friend of mine, and I am running into the issue of separating short lists. Example: There is a relationship between NH and CH and CH and OH. The sentence ...
2
votes
1answer
282 views

Does this sentence call for an additional “for”?

I'm confronted with two compelling options: I want to be at least partially responsible for getting them to think differently, or inspiring them to earnestly investigate new topics. I want to ...
2
votes
2answers
130 views

Is it okay to use a colon within a bulleted list?

Question 1: Are colons allowed in a list? Business writing skills: data entry, email, presentation and press release writing. Question 2: Should there be only one and in a sentence?
2
votes
2answers
110 views

Omitting common word in all but last item in a list? [duplicate]

I'm wondering if lists comprised of similar or related words/phrases can be shortened by omitting the root/suffix/word that they have in common except in the last item in the list. Examples: "We ...
2
votes
0answers
31 views

“This date and time is” vs. “this date and time are” [duplicate]

The following sentence appears in a letter I am editing: If this date and time are not convenient please contact me at ... Structurally, this seems okay, but it feels very awkward. Shouldn't it ...
2
votes
2answers
107 views

Possessive-S/apostrophe in a list, including the first and second person

When adding possessive-S/apostrophe to a list, the rule is only the last person has the apostrophe if the item is shared, or everyone has one if they have the items each, e.g. John and Mary's houses ...
2
votes
3answers
224 views

Definite article, repetition in lists

Which would be correct? The fridge, the shelves, the walls, the floor, and John himself, were all covered in foam. The fridge, shelves, walls, floor, and John himself, were all covered in ...
1
vote
4answers
292 views

What does this mean: “Avoid oral calcium, dairy products, shark cartilage & exercise during the medication.”

I found this behind a medicine. At first thought, the sentence looks like it suggests avoiding exercise during the medication. However, I remember reading somewhere that in US English, when there is a ...
1
vote
3answers
8k views

How to write a bulleted list? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Question about Capitalization for a Bullet List Periods for bullet point items Should each item be in uppercase or not? I've seen both forms: Yada, yada, yada, ...
1
vote
2answers
495 views

In a conditional sentence where the condition contains a list, which serial punctuation mark is used in the list?

For example, If Bobby buys a pencil, an eraser, and a pad of paper, then he can write his essay. To remove the ambiguity in the final comma, my instinct is to write: If Bobby buys a pencil, ...