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40 votes

Confusion from a Vocative Comma before a List

If you think about the conditions under which such an utterance might occur, and then think about the intonation with which it might be delivered, you can probably come up with some suitable ...
Tinfoil Hat's user avatar
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19 votes
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If I use the word "enumerated", must the list be numeric or can it be bullet points?

Although enumerate has overtones of numeric order because of its etymology, it is not so restricted in its use: enumerate = to name things separately, one by one Cambridge Similarly, Merriam Webster ...
Anton's user avatar
  • 28.6k
16 votes

You don't use a comma listing only two items, but SAT Reading Passage does. Why?

A comment by @Peter explains it. I was going to answer on the same basis so I will anyway. Consider the following: A. "I saw a horse struggling with (1) an ample load and (2) [struggling with] a ...
chasly - supports Monica's user avatar
13 votes

You don't use a comma listing only two items, but SAT Reading Passage does. Why?

As Lawler explains elsewhere, the purpose of a comma is to represent a characteristic change in intonation found in spoken English. The "rules" for comma placement are really just heuristics ...
alphabet's user avatar
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9 votes

Confusion from a Vocative Comma before a List

The standard "comma's comma" in English is a semicolon. A modern equivalent for this which is becoming increasingly common is a double dash. Examples: John; Paul, George, and Ringo arrived ...
Biblasia's user avatar
  • 679
8 votes

Confusion from a Vocative Comma before a List

Dion-- I would just rephrase it, and put the vocative at the end: Paul, George, and Ringo are arriving later, John.
Charles Miller's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

In text, does 'enumerate' imply a numbered list?

From Merriam Webster’s page on enumerate: 1:  to ascertain the number of: Count 2:  to specify one after another: List Also from Merriam Webster’s page on enumerate Despite its ...
Irfan's user avatar
  • 1,159
7 votes
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Oxford comma with nonessential phrases

Yes. You are applying two distinct comma guidelines consistently: The commas around a nonessential element. (Purdue OWL has some examples.) Commas (including the serial comma) separating items in a ...
TaliesinMerlin's user avatar
7 votes

Confusion from a Vocative Comma before a List

In addition to the options that Tinfoil Hat suggested, the most natural punctuation here might be a colon: John: George, Paul and Ringo arrived earlier. In a newspaper headline, this would mean ...
Davislor's user avatar
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5 votes
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Scientific/Technical paper: enumeration/listing questions

The reason for using ‘;’ rather than ‘,’ is to avoid ambiguity if the item/phrase includes a comma. Whether to use small Roman numerals or Arabic numerals is a matter of style, and whether you are ...
David's user avatar
  • 12.6k
5 votes

When I am using bullet points where do I put the "or"?

Rephrase the introduction to the list so you don't need a conjunction. The user can choose from one of the following options:
John Feltz's user avatar
  • 6,413
5 votes

When I am using bullet points where do I put the "or"?

If rephrasing gets awkward, you can bullet a complete sentence showing this item here with an ending semi-colon; this item, which ends in the same semi-colon followed by an "or"; or this item, which ...
jimm101's user avatar
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5 votes
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Is there any rule which dictates the ordering of non-proper, non-pronoun nouns in a list?

While there is no rule for ordering general lists, we can probably consider specific cases: (A) cases where an ordering may be mandatory (eg listing Royalty or Government Officials or by some sort of ...
Prem's user avatar
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5 votes
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What is the horizontal equivalent of "all of the above"?

Between each set of commas is one buying option. There is no need for the extra "or" because the reader understands there are 4 options without it: Cadillac Mercedes Hyundai All three Therefore, ...
jmrpink's user avatar
  • 948
5 votes

What is the horizontal equivalent of "all of the above"?

The New Oxford American Dictionary... above (adverb) includes Mentioned earlier or further up on the same page. So "All of the above" may be used in horizontal senses as well as vertical.
GEdgar's user avatar
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5 votes
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Is it possible to use a semi colon within a list?

It is acceptable to use semi-colons in a list. However, the semi-colon is a stronger separator than a comma, so your example is effectively making a list which separates the items like this (which ...
Mynamite's user avatar
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5 votes

Trying to explain grammatical error in fragmented compound sentence

I would not call the sentence grammatically incorrect, but it is clunky. One issue is that the sentence doesn't make clear the relationship between us (the agent that discovered a unique opportunity) ...
TaliesinMerlin's user avatar
4 votes

Is it proper to use a colon followed immediately by a hyphen?

From the Constitution of the United States of America Article II, Section 1, last clause Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—‘‘I do ...
GEdgar's user avatar
  • 25.1k
4 votes

Repeating word "Professor" in a list of professors in US

Typically, academic papers exclude academic titles in the body of the literature, but their reference in the citation section includes highest degree earned (and possibly a notable position in a ...
Stu W's user avatar
  • 7,116
4 votes
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Question mark followed by a comma or semi colon in a list

Punctuation is a matter of style, and as such you should be guided by your manual of style, either the one you've chosen or the one thrust upon you. I use the Chicago Manual of Style, which advises ...
deadrat's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

How to list people with a short explanation

The current punctuation is certainly wrong because his girlfriend is undistinguishable from the other items in the enumeration. One solution is to join Bob and Christine: Andy, Bob with his ...
Anton Shepelev's user avatar
4 votes

Do you need to specify indefinite articles in a comma separated list?

I always use separate indefinite articles for separate nouns. Take this sentence: I ate an apple, an orange, and a guava. Now, suppose, I need to be specific and say that the apple was juicy, I can ...
Adarsha's user avatar
  • 77
4 votes

proper construction of a list

The sentence makes the United States the main player. You might consider “its allies and partners” one item, as “its” refers both to both allies and partners. In your version “partners” needs another “...
Xanne's user avatar
  • 14.6k
3 votes

If I have a list after a single gerund, do I use "is" or "are"?

I have found that [knowing how to effectively manage and organize paperwork, requests, and deadlines] is the only way in which to get the job done effectively. It's fine with singular "is". The ...
BillJ's user avatar
  • 12.5k
3 votes

Question mark followed by a comma or semi colon in a list

The last explanation here is the most to the point: go by a manual of style. However, the example is an incorrect rendering of the Chicago manual. First, the answer to your question is "no"--with the ...
Roger C's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

Comma or semicolon to separate a list from 'which'

I think you've mostly answered your own question: a comma always goes before 'which'. More rigorously, The Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition, section 6.22) has Nonrestrictive relative ...
Peter Schilling's user avatar
3 votes

Can you use a colon to introduce just a single item instead of a list?

The Oxford Guide to Style (2002) offers a usefully concise (but somewhat oddly punctuated) discussion of the colon at section 5.5: 5.5 Colon The colon points forward: from a premise to a conclusion, ...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
  • 163k
3 votes

Looking for a list of hapax legomena that have lost their meanings over time

A search for hapax legomena in English took me straight to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hapax_legomenon#English_examples As for ones that have lost their meaning, it is inevitable, given the ...
David Robinson's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Listing items where the last item has the word 'and' in it

There are several ways of rephrasing or punctuating the sentence to avoid ambiguity. Some possibilities include: This term I am teaching two modules and they are Maths and Art and History. This ...
Jason Bassford's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Comma or no in a two item list where those items are phrases

If the style guide you're using doesn't say otherwise, you may omit the comma if the independent clause is sufficiently short. Here's Kate Turabian on how to use commas in academic writing: ...
TaliesinMerlin's user avatar

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