2

I am editing someone's work and am not sure how to punctuate the following sentence. The list uses the word "or" multiple times for drama.

Option 1: They wanted money or a watch or a camera or some form of payment.

Option 2: They wanted money, or a watch, or a camera, or some form of payment.

Which is correct?

1

Punctuation is a style issue as opposed to a grammar issue. As such, there will be some variance based on style guide. I use The Chicago Manual of Style, but there are other good ones.

On your particular issue, there are no commas--Option 1: They wanted money or a watch or a camera or some other form of payment.

However, if you choose serial usage, then commas would be used with debate (in America) regarding the Oxford comma: They wanted money, a watch, a camera, or some other form of payment. [The Oxford comma precedes or in this case.]

0

It seems to be a topic under a lot of debate. Referred to as a serial comma, there are arguments for and against using commas in this fashion (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_comma)

Personally, I would use commas simply so I (or a potential reader) knows to pause for a breath when they come across it.

This is another good question/answer explaining this situation: Should I use a comma before "and" or "or"?

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.