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Do parenthetical lists need "e.g." preceding the list, such as: "I am building a model of the house with key attributes (height, style, color) considered for comparison with other development areas."

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Both i.e. and e.g. can be used to distinguish types of lists and examples but they are not strictly necessary.

In your example, the advantage of using e.g. would be to clearly signal that there are more attributes than what was listed. Another way of doing this is using etc. but you should never use e.g. and etc. in the same list.

I am building a model of the house with key attributes (e.g. height, style, color) considered for comparison with other development areas.

I am building a model of the house with key attributes (height, style, color, etc.) considered for comparison with other development areas.

If height, style and color actually are the only attributes then it would be inappropriate to use e.g. or etc. and the sentence as written is the best choice.

  • I prefer using a comma after e.g., and in your first example, I'd also put an "and" after "style": "I am building a model of the house with key attributes (e.g., height, style, and color) considered for comparison with other development areas." Am I being a punctuation Nazi? – rhetorician Oct 3 '13 at 23:59
  • Yes, you are being a punctuation Nazi. "(e.g. height, style, color)" is perfectly valid. Wikipedia's only note is that it is sometimes followed by a comma. – MrHen Oct 4 '13 at 13:13
  • Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa. It's always good to have options. Don. P.S. Sieg heil! – rhetorician Oct 4 '13 at 13:44

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