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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Criminal Sentence 555: Weird Library

I wonder if they have a dictionary at this "Experess" library...


Destiny said...

I think even the use of 'including' is wrong, as library is - needless to say - for and of books! What do you say?

The Sentence Sleuth said...

"Include" means you're mentioning some of a list, but not the complete list. I suppose that magazines aren't listed, so it might be technically correct as is.

DJ Stacey said...

I've been keeping myself abreast on serial commas these days. It's interesting to see that the comma has been omitted before the conjunction "and." From what I understand, comma isn't optional unless you're a journalist writing for a newspaper or magazine. What do you think?

Westley said...

There are two places where a comma might belong before an 'and': one in the collection list and one in the computers list.

I would definitely put one before the 'and' in the collections list but not in the computers list.

My explanation: The collections list seems to be very parallel; all items are phrased the same and have the same level of importance.
BUT in the computers list, the last item is a compound item consisting of BOTH Mitchell's and 'other' databases, so I wouldn't separate them with a comma. Does that make any sense??

(Think of a list of sandwiches: ham, turkey, cheese, and peanut butter and jelly. Comma after cheese, but not separating pb&j.)

DJ Stacey said...

@ Westly: You do make sense. I agree wholeheartedly placing a comma before "and" in the collection list. As far as the computer list is concerned, it appears that the databases represents a singular unit. If that's the case, then you're right, it makes sense to omit a comma before the conjunction.

The Sentence Sleuth said...

The serial comma is actually optional. It is a style, not a rule. Just be consistent is my rule.