TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Multiple options for action? From:Brian Boisvert <brianb -at- ICONICS -dot- COM> Date:Mon, 16 Oct 1995 16:44:09 EST
I am writing a manual where there are three different ways to perform
an action. For example:
To Create a New File
Select New from the File menu, or click the New icon in the toolbar,
or press Ctrl+N.
An editor has crossed out the "or" before the second option. I want
to keep it.
I realize that there are rules dictating that one should only use "or"
for the final item in a comma-separated list, but I *really* want to
highlight that these are separate actions, not additional steps of the
My question: Does anyone agree with me (that "or" is acceptable to
break up each option)? Can anyone provide me with a documented source
that deals with this issue?
[Please don't suggest that I recast the sentence or use a different
style to describe actions -- this is the company style and I can't
change it. My only question is about the "or."]