Re: Introducing bulleted lists

Subject: Re: Introducing bulleted lists
From: Peggy Schillinger <peggys -at- STLNET -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 1997 22:43:27 -0500

Lauren Gotlieb wrote:
> Hello all,
> I have a question about introducing bulleted lists. Does the phrase
> before
> the list need to be a complete sentence? I generally write:
> "You use blah-blah to:
> *
> *
> *..."
> Is this incorrect?

Hello, Lauren: Although I have seen this type of list many times, I
don't use it, and I edit it out of manuscripts when I have the chance. I
regard this structure as ungrammatical for two reasons.

1. You have broken an infinitive verb in half. The "to" needs to be next
to the verb as in "to display" or "to execute." In your example, "to" is
not a preposition; it is part of a verb.

2. You don't need any punctuation between the first part of a sentence
and the second part. When each list item completes the sentence, a colon
is incorrect.

Best regards...Peggy Schillinger
Peggy Schillinger peggys -at- stlnet -dot- com
Computer Software Technical Writer 314-569-9495 (V)
Co-President, STC St. Louis (MO) 314-994-1905 (F)

"I began to develop a firm conviction that most efforts to
teach people things were wasted. All they needed was to
go off some place quiet and read." ---Richard Russo

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