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Question: What is the appropriate way to punctuate two lists of two items when each of the individual items can not be combined into a single list of four?

Specific Sentence that prompted this question:

One way or another, so long as each connection’s packets can be identified by unique Source and Destination, IP and Port, the response traffic can be un-translated to the appropriate initial host.

context:

There are four attributes to identify the packet: Source IP, Source Port, Destination IP, Destination Port.

Listening them all out individually is a bit too wordy for the sentence, but I need to iterate that each packet must have a unique combination of all four attributes.


If I were speaking it, I would say: "... each connection's packets must be identified by a unique source and destination, IP and Port" (using the comma to indicate a pause).

Initially I had written out "... each connection's packets must be identified by a unique source/destination ip/port", but that looks very sloppy.

edit: updated question to make it more than a proof read request

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    Proofreading is off topic here, but I would state: Each connection's packets must be identified by both unique IP and Port, for both Source and Destination. – Davo Aug 22 '17 at 17:35
  • @Davo oops, did not know. I've updated the question to make it more about the punctuation rules than it is about the specific phrase above. Thanks for your suggestion, I like your re-word! – Eddie Aug 22 '17 at 17:53
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You should not put the items in a serialized list like they are in the question's example if not all of the items are part of the same list. Putting all four items in a serialized list implies that each of the four items is an item in the list. This is not the intent of the statement, as you explain after the example.

Instead, consider rephrasing like this:

One way or another, so long as each connection’s packets can be identified by unique IP and port for both source and destination, the response traffic can be un-translated to the appropriate initial host.

The sentence as written contains other grammatical errors which are outside the scope of this question, and, as mentioned, proofreading in general is out of scope for this exchange. I kept the rest of the example the same to more easily illustrate the change relevant to the question.

  • Thanks R Mac! I appreciate the help. Will also double check to find the other grammatical errors... unless you'd be willing to give me a hand in chat? – Eddie Aug 22 '17 at 17:55

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