1

Which is preferred below--1, 2 or 3? Are all versions technically correct? Which is your pick?

1. Mike, 25, Jimmy, 44, and Joshua, 49, were arrested on a charge of petit larceny.

2. Mike, 25; Jimmy, 44; and Joshua, 49, were arrested on a charge of petit larceny.

3. Mike (25), Jimmy (44), and Joshua (49) were arrested on a charge of petit larceny.

closed as off-topic by David M, TimLymington, Mari-Lou A, Bradd Szonye, choster Mar 3 '14 at 4:35

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1

Although it's not likely to be mistaken in this particular example, #1 makes it difficult to tell whether Mike is 25, or if 25 is another item in the list.

#2 and #3 are perfectly correct, and very clear.

In this case, I personally prefer #3, though, it may not look as clean if you aren't dealing with ages:

Mike (son), Jimmy (father), Joshua (grandfather), were arrested [...]

In such an event, I would go with the commas and semicolons instead):

Mike, son; Jimmy, father; Joshua, grandfather; were arrested [...]

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