'Proper' list format: a, b[,] [and/or] c

deadimp

Member
English - USA
What's English's 'official' and 'proper' method to form a list (one that is terminated by a 'binding conjunction,' indicating the relation between the items in the list).
Example:
a, b, or c
[OR]
a, b or c

a, b, and c
[OR]
a, b and c
NOTE: The difference in and/or is only mean to apply this to a different conjunction. It's not meant to be included in the selection process for syntax.

Or is this just applicable to perference, like "towards" and "toward", "further" and "farther"?
 
  • . 1

    Banned
    Australian Australia
    My understanding is that there is no difference made by placing the second comma in each construction.

    I do not understand what you are trying to find regarding the difference between and and or.

    .,,
     

    deadimp

    Member
    English - USA
    I'm not sure why I put that in there, probably just to apply it to the different type of clauses. I didn't mean for it to be part of the selection in the list syntax.

    Thanks.
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    What's English's 'official' and 'proper' method to form a list (one that is terminated by a 'binding conjunction,' indicating the relation between the items in the list).
    Example:
    a, b, or c
    [OR]
    a, b or c

    a, b, and c
    [OR]
    a, b and c
    NOTE: The difference in and/or is only mean to apply this to a different conjunction. It's not meant to be included in the selection process for syntax.

    Or is this just applicable to perference, like "towards" and "toward", "further" and "farther"?
    Do a search of the Internet for "serial comma", "Harvard comma", or "Oxford comma"--It's referred to by all three names.

    There are a few circumstances where the serial comma helps prevent possible confusion, but not enough to make a compelling argument in its favor. Nowadays, many (non-Harvard, non-Oxford) publications, especially newspapers, do not use the serial comma, presumably because less punctuation leads to a "cleaner" look.

    For my part, I always use the serial comma.
     
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