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For an example is it correct to say:

You may use X or Y or Z or even something else.

And what is proper punctuation for such example in case it is valid.

  • 3
    The use of multiple conjunctions in quick succession could be a rhetorical device called polysyndeton, but you should probably only use it when trying to achieve a certain effect with your writing. – Cameron Oct 2 '12 at 14:38
  • Crumbs, Cameron! Did you just happen to know that term? If not, how on earth did you find it? It's a shame OP didn't ask for the name. – FumbleFingers Oct 2 '12 at 15:22
  • @Cameron – you saved my day! This is exactly what I was lurking for but couldn’t find! I wanted to use “polysyndeton” because of a technical limitation that didn’t allow me to put a comma after a word (it was comma after the HTML link which is not part of the link but some software would interpret it as a part of the link). By the way I’m also asking you what FumbleFingers asked. – Vyacheslav Oct 4 '12 at 9:13
  • @FumbleFingers Sorry, didn't see your question earlier. Yes, I did happen to know that term (I learned it long ago in Latin class); I'm not sure why it stuck with me. Now if I could only remember where I left my keys… – Cameron Oct 5 '12 at 2:37
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The statement as you gave it might occur in speech, but forms joined in this manner are not preferred in writing. Instead, separate the items with a comma, and put or only before the last item:

You may use X, Y, Z, or even something else.

This is effectively the same as the rule for lists of items joined by and.

(Oxford comma forever!)

  • Did you mean Oxford, forever? – Robusto Oct 2 '12 at 14:12
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    @Robusto No, he meant Oxford ",". – Kris Oct 2 '12 at 14:17
  • Thank you @JSBձոգչ for the answer. I was already knew that. I just wanted to know if such condition is considered as incorrect or not. Cameron made a valuable remark about “polysyndeton” as a comment to my question. I personally suggest to look at “Polysyndeton” article in Wikipedia. – Vyacheslav Oct 4 '12 at 9:24
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    @polysyndeton: Unquestionably most competent writers would agree your rendition without commas is "incorrect". The fact that there's a technical term for what's primarily a literary style device, rather than an acceptable way of solving an HTML formatting issue, has no real bearing on the acceptability or otherwise of your example. – FumbleFingers Oct 5 '12 at 4:19

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