Re: And Or situations

Subject: Re: And Or situations
From: Chris Morton <salt -dot- morton -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2013 13:50:32 -0700

It seems like a lot of *opinions* are entering this discussion.

It would make sense that Reuters—being a *news reporting entity*—eschews
the serial comma, as it takes up additional column-inch space. This is true
of AP style and is a convention that has been adopted for the vast majority
of marketing materials.

When It comes to most anything else, however, the serial comma is essential
to clear writing.

> Chris


On Tue, Oct 22, 2013 at 1:38 PM, Lauren <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net> wrote:

> On 10/22/2013 12:34 PM, Robert Lauriston wrote:
>
>> Huh? The serial comma is good style everywhere.
>>
>
> I agree but is a regular point of controversy and an entertaining source
> of irony for me.
>
>
> "Among those interviewed were [Merle Haggard's] two ex-wives, Kris
>> Kristofferson and Robert Duvall."
>>
>
> The Reuters General Style Guide prefers no serial comma. Their online
> handbook (http://handbook.reuters.com/) is giving 504 errors but states,
> "Use commas to separate items in a list, e.g. cheese, fruit, wine and
> coffee or Smith despised ballet, hated the theatre and was bored by opera.
> Note that there is normally no comma before the final and. However, a comma
> should be used in this position if to leave it out would risk ambiguity,
> e.g. He admired Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hart, and Leonard Bernstein."
>
> That's nice and inconsistent.
>
> Ironies being what they are, Thompson-Reuters owns FindLaw, an online
> repository of case law and other legal documents. FindLaw provides helpful
> guides for preparing legal documents. On the comma, one document states,
> "DO consider the placement of punctuation marks, since even a misplaced
> comma can change the meaning of a sentence." http://smallbusiness.findlaw.
> **com/business-contracts-forms/**do-s-and-don-ts-contracts-**
> terms-article.html<http://smallbusiness.findlaw.com/business-contracts-forms/do-s-and-don-ts-contracts-terms-article.html>
>
> I think that when a rule of writing is clear in one context but can
> produce vagueness in another context, then the rule is vague and should not
> be used. The use of two rules, like what Reuters suggests for commas, is
> inconsistent and not a "rule."
>
> Both the serial comma and the "and/or" conundrum give rise to inconsistent
> rules of writing that placate writers who are unable to write clearly
> without using crutches like confusing slashes and random commas.
>
> In what looks like nuisance writing, the Reuters style guide uses "and/or"
> nine times and makes no mention of an "and/or" rule.
>
>
>
>
>
>
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References:
And Or situations: From: Cardimon, Craig
Re: And Or situations: From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: And Or situations: From: Milan Davidović
Re: And Or situations: From: Robert Lauriston
Re: And Or situations: From: Lauren
Re: And Or situations: From: Robert Lauriston
Re: And Or situations: From: Lauren

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