Commas in lists - Page 2


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Thread: Commas in lists

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Squalid Glass View Post
    Bayview, the rule about lists and colons is, essentially, if what comes before the list is an independent clause, use a colon; if it's not independent, don't use a colon.
    Except that's semicolons: colons are used to show that what follows is an elaboration or explanation of what went before.
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  2. #12
    So, we can follow the grammar rules and write red, white, and blue. Or red, white and blue.

    We can also ungrammatically write:

    red and white and blue [sounds simpler?]

    red, white, blue [the list is incomplete?]

    red, and white, and blue [blue is an afterthought?]

    I would be thrilled to get other opinions on why you use one over the other.

    And another uncountable number of ways of writing a list.

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  3. #13
    I remember thinking it didnít feel as though anybody actually lived there; that it was more like some big show-home, the kind they sometimes turn into museums and grownups make their kids go see.
    Probably wrong. In modern rules, the semicolon separates two independent clauses. So the word after the semicolon isn't supposed to be but or and or some conjunction. Authors sometimes break the rule, and sometimes that's useful. That seems a little more egregious, plus you don't even need it -- the sentence reads naturally with that taken out. I'm guessing that's not the meaning you wanted though, so a dash would work.
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  4. #14
    Global Moderator Squalid Glass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bayview View Post
    This feels like you're disagreeing, but... yes, that's what I was saying!
    Haha no! Just clarifying the rule!
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  5. #15
    Global Moderator Squalid Glass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olly Buckle View Post
    Except that's semicolons: colons are used to show that what follows is an elaboration or explanation of what went before.
    No, it’s the rule for whether or not you need a colon before the introduction of a list.
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  6. #16
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  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Squalid Glass View Post
    No, it’s the rule for whether or not you need a colon before the introduction of a list.
    Got you, it's because the list qualifies what went before. In a way it doesn't matter that it is a list, it comes before it to separate what is being expanded on from the expansion, that it happens to be a list is not important.
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