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I asked this question on meta.stackoverflow.com, but I need some help. What would be the correct way to phrase "...diverse topics from software programming to cooking to photography and gaming." Or if this is the correct way to phrase the phrase, please let me know.

  • There's nothing wrong with your example, nor is there a particular way of wording anything like that. Why? What were your doubts? – Robbie Goodwin Mar 27 '18 at 14:54
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I suggest

diverse topics including programming, cooking, photography and gaming.

or perhaps

diverse topics including photography, programming, cooking, gaming.

Using such as rather than including would ask the reader to extrapolate from four disparate topics to other topics. Such extrapolation may be inaccurate. Not having a comma in photography and gaming may lead to confusion about whether you regard photography and gaming as two topics or one.

The form from X to Y to Z may be used effectively when a spectrum or continuum ranges from X, through Y, to Z. Using that form with several incomparable elements is wrong if you merely mean to list several elements, rather than giving a puzzling or comic effect. The form from X to Y and Z again suggests a range, this time from X to implicitly-equated Y and Z.

  • Thanks! Your first one seems more natural. I'll post an update if something happens to my meta question. – CoffeeRain Apr 10 '12 at 16:03
  • We get the word range from arrangement. It suggests that certain things can be placed in an arrangement that makes sense, such as "from Dallas to Los Angeles". There is no need to name three other cities. We can figure out that Tokyo doesn't fit the arrangement and that Needles does. "From A to Z" makes sense. "From A to D to G to P..." is nonsense. To list examples of ingredients for a dish you will put together, use "such as rice, lettuce, carrot, and beef", not "from rice to lettuce to carrots to beef". A range is from one thing or place that is at the beginning to another that is at the en – Lance Mar 27 '18 at 14:51
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"...diverse topics from software programming to cooking to photography to gaming."

Your "and" only makes sense of "photography and gaming" is a single unified topic for some reason, and it's awkward even then.

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I would rewrite this as

diverse topics such as software programming, cooking, photography and gaming.

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I would reword it:

"...diverse topics ranging from software programming to cooking to photography to gaming."

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I would say

... diverse topics from software programming to cooking, photography and gaming.

protected by tchrist Mar 27 '18 at 15:29

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