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14
votes
6answers
7k 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?
10
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
872 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, ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Periods for bullet point items

In a 'bulleted' list should items that happen to be complete sentences end with a period?
7
votes
5answers
1k 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
4k 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.
7
votes
2answers
18k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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
2answers
552 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
3answers
2k 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
335 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
5answers
335 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
708 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
4k 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
2k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
92 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
4k 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
57 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
6k 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
4answers
6k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
3k 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
513 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
621 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
404 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
747 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
2answers
60 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
2k 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
1answer
611 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). ...
2
votes
1answer
241 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
62 views

Best way to phrase “{x and y} and z”?

I've continually struggled with this sentence arrangement. I have a list of 2 groups, but one of the groups is also a group of 2. Example: "I need help finding turtles and brown and grey foxes" The ...
2
votes
1answer
82 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
164 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
780 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
722 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
149 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
111 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
113 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 > ...
2
votes
0answers
30 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
282 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
6k 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
434 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, ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

“A, B, C, or etc.” vs. “A, B, or C, etc.” vs. “A, B, C, etc.”

I think correct usages of "and" and "etc." are: A, B, C, and etc. A, B, and etc. But the example usage of "or" and "etc." I found in my dictionary is: A or B, etc. Why it is not: A, ...
1
vote
1answer
392 views

How to arrange in alphabetical order by maiden name but include married name [closed]

In a class list, what is the correct way to arrange in alphabetical order by maiden name but also include married name, so that someone who doesn't know the person and does not know the list is in ...
1
vote
3answers
942 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, ...
1
vote
2answers
95 views

How do you use etc. with or?

I have a sentence where I want to say that X is one of several things in a category, i.e. "...where X is an A, B, C, or D, etc." The elements A, B, C, or D are not exhaustive, so I want to include ...
1
vote
1answer
269 views

What is the most succinct way of listing requests in a grammatically correct syntax/format?

When I am having a conversation with a a friend, I might say something like this That's a great idea, but I wonder if 'A' you have the time, 'B' you can get enough buyers and 'C' the buyers will ...
1
vote
1answer
5k views

Correct use of “is” or “are” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Singular or plural following a list Would I use is or are in the following sentence? The Pohutakawa Coast, Hauraki Gulf, and Waiheke Island is/are the backdrop for ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

When indicating separate items linked by a common word?

Let's say my sentence is: I am a part of Generations X, Y, and Z. In a case like this, should "generations" be plural or singular? I feel it should be plural, since singular makes it sound like ...
1
vote
2answers
188 views

Mixing adjective and noun enumerations

I am having trouble writing a seemingly simple sentence. I am organising an event where three kinds of food will be served: hot beverages cold beverages finger food My trouble deals with putting ...
1
vote
4answers
862 views

Comma in a sentence just before the start of a list

If I am asking a complex question, I would write it like this: Do you have, by chance, three pennies on you? Should I write a complex question that turns into a list without the comma? Do ...