0

I have a numbered list that is comprised of phrases which utilize a colon followed by semi-colons. My client used periods at the end of each phrase. I deleted them. Who is correct? (See client's original text example below.)

  1. Creative Campaign Themes: “A Beach with an Accent” and “Come Make Memories.”

  2. Brand Position (what we want to be known for:) Unique combination of the sophistication of the traditional South with the serenity of a beach vacation; One of America’s top 10 island destinations.

3

The general rule for bullet points is consistency:

Punctuate bullets consistently. That is, if one bullet ends with a period (full stop), end all with a period, following these rules:

a. If all bullets are sentences, end each one with a period (full stop).

b. If all bullets are phrases or fragments, use no end punctuation.

See more at: http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2005/12/the_best_of_bul.html#sthash.7LoRdiUR.dpuf

Your bullets are not employing full sentences, so the periods should probably be deleted:

  1. Creative Campaign Themes: “A Beach with an Accent” and “Come Make Memories”
  2. Brand Position (what we want to be known for): Unique combination of the sophistication of the traditional South with the serenity of a beach vacation; One of America’s top 10 island destinations

Because your points have sub-points, you might consider a further improvement:

  1. Creative Campaign Themes:

    a. “A Beach with an Accent”

    b. “Come Make Memories”

  2. Brand Position (what we want to be known for):

    a. Unique combination of the sophistication of the traditional South with the serenity of a beach vacation

    b. One of America’s top 10 island destinations

And since sub point 2 a. is a combination, you might even consider:

  1. Creative Campaign Themes:

    a. “A Beach with an Accent”

    b. “Come Make Memories”

  2. Brand Position (what we want to be known for):

    a. Sophistication of the traditional South

    b. Serenity of a beach vacation

    c. One of America’s top 10 island destinations

The colon of point 2 belongs to Brand Position, so you would want to place it outside of the parenthetical phrase (what we want to be known for).

  • +1 Good coverage of the main points here. It's somewhat unusual, though, to have a subordinate numbered list within a numbered list that uses the same numbering scheme as the primary numbered list, as in the third and fourth examples above. More commonly, for clarity, a broken-out subordinate list will be introduced by bullet points or by a different "numbering" system, such as a, b, c, ... – Sven Yargs Feb 20 '15 at 21:19
  • Agreed! I don't know how to manufacture a standard subordinate list with this the SE formatting protocol. Suggestion? – ScotM Feb 21 '15 at 3:38
  • 1
    The outline-style layout you have now looks pretty good to me, ScotM. If you wanted to convert the subordinate a, b, c items to a bulleted list format, you could do so by swapping out each letter-and-period combination in favor of a hyphen (followed by a letter space). The SE formatting really doesn't handle lists within lists well, as you can see from the oddly cramped line spacing between the 1(b) entries in your last two examples and the main 2 listings that follow them. I don't think you can do anything about that problem, unfortunately. – Sven Yargs Feb 21 '15 at 3:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.