Re: introducing lists ...

Subject: Re: introducing lists ...
From: Laura Lemay <lemay -at- lauralemay -dot- com>
To: Sean Brierley <sean -dot- brierley -at- gerberscientific -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 7 Aug 2015 11:16:23 -0700

#1 is just wrong, style-wise. You need the colon for the sentence fragment.

#3 is still a fragment, but a wordy one. âthe followingâ is irrelevant in this case.

Itâs fine to introduce a list with a sentence fragment in general (#2), where each list item completes the sentence. The problem with translation in this case is that in some languages with different word order it can be difficult to structure the list so that it works the same way as it does in english, with the first half of the sentence at the start of the list and the last half in the list items. Machine translation systems also supposedly have difficulties with sentence fragments, although I have no direct experience with that. This is the argument for using a complete sentence to introduce a list or procedure (and where odd and seemingly overly wordy constructions like ââthe following itemsâ or ââthe following stepsâ come from.)


Laura


> On Aug 7, 2015, at 10:29 AM, Sean Brierley <sean -dot- brierley -at- gerberscientific -dot- com> wrote:
>
> Question about using lists. Which would you prefer and why? Does a
> requirement for translation make a difference? Assume each of the following
> fragments is followed by a list that correctly uses parallel structure.
>
> 1) This package includes
> 2) This package includes:
> 3) This package includes the following:
>
> I go with 2. I have made a stylistic decision that all introductions end
> with a colon, be they a fragment or complete sentence. I know that's
> contrary to some grammar positions. I also see "the following" as
> superfluous, though I am not opposed to adding it if there's good reason;
> is there?
>
> Cheers,
>
> Sean
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References:
introducing lists ...: From: Sean Brierley

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