1. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    Semicolon series question

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by LordKyleOfEarth, Apr 11, 2012.

    When using a semicolon to separate a series of items, if the final item is preceded with an 'and' does that 'and' need a comma?

    Here is an example:

    I'm thinking the comma is incorrect, but I keep seeing it, so I need an outside opinion here.

    Thanks,
    Kyle
     
  2. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can't think of any reason for putting a comma there.
     
  3. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    If it's just a bare list of items, unadorned with caveats or observations, then, like digitig, I can't see the point (but, good luck proving it's technically out of bounds).

    If it is something more - and you don't indicate that it is, and I'm sure you know - then a comma could be justified on stylistic or other grounds. eg

    ....;a nice sharp chisel; and, if you care about the finish, some glass paper.
     
  4. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    Nope, there is no clause following the listed items. I'm working on documents that have been pieced together from old boiler-plate, and I suspect that the error has been duplicated ad nauseum. I've been correcting it, but just wanted assurance from someone else that I wasn't crazy. I've fixed this on 4 different proposals over the last 2 days. It's all copy pasted I think.
     
  5. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is the other version of it:

    I swear, the author of this beast was NOT an English Major.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    1. items shouldn't have been capitalized
    2. neither number nor ) should be used unless the items are arranged vertically...
    3. whole 'and' bit is a mess... and the 'and' isn't even needed, though one is often added after the penultimate item... may be a us vs uk usage issue..

    here's how i'd have done it:

     
  7. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    If it's arranged vertically, corporate house style where I work mandates capitals and a final "and" (or "or", if appropriate).
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sorry, dig... i thought i'd made it clear enough that the #1 'shouldn't' only applied to the arrangement shown by the op... ditto for #3 re the 'and'...

    also, house style does vary from house to house...
     

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