[Ads-l] The NYT: comma > semi-colon

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Sun Nov 6 14:24:09 EST 2016


Robin

You are correct that parentheses are another way to go. I don't think that
was the original question.

On Nov 6, 2016 2:16 PM, "Robin Hamilton" <robin.hamilton3 at virginmedia.com>
wrote:

> But parentheses are QUOTE used to add information to items in a list
> UNQUOTE
> (passim in various grammar sites dealing with this issue).
>
> Thus we have our basic comma-separated list:
>
>      Chicago, St. Louis, Orlando, and suburban Henry County.
>
> With information added, we have:
>
>      Chicago, St. Louis, Orlando (Fla.), and suburban Henry County (Ga.).
>
> The original cited list:
>
>      Chicago; St. Louis; Orlando, Fla.; and suburban Henry County, Ga.
>
> ... uses semicolons to separate incommensurate items.
>
> When the parentheses are added according to the accepted conventions of the
> style manuals, then the need for the semicolons disappears.
>
> I don't know about Wilson, but I think that was what was itching my brain
> in the
> first place, not that I have any particularly rooted objection to the use
> of a
> semicolon in such circumstances normally.
>
> Itch scratched.
>
> Robin
>
> >
> >     On 06 November 2016 at 12:54 Dave Wilton <dave at WILTON.NET> wrote:
> >
>
> >
> >     Parentheses don't always work well. If you're writing a piece that
> > requires parenthetical source citations, other uses of parentheses can be
> > distracting, if not downright confusing.
> >
>
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >     Using semicolons to separate list-items that contain commas is a
> standard
> >     orthographic practice. You'll find it in just about every style
> manual in
> >     existence (e.g., Oxford, Garner, Chicago, Cambridge, and MLA
> 7--before MLA
> > 8
> >     eliminated all its non-citation style requirements). I don't know
> about
> > the
> >     NYT style guide in particular, but I'd be surprised if it were any
> >     different.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >     --Dave Wilton
> >
> >     Department of English
> >
> >     Texas A&M University
> >
> >     dwilton at tamu.edu / dave at wilton.net
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >     -----Original Message-----
> >
> >     From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On
> Behalf
> > Of
> >     Robin Hamilton
> >
> >     Sent: Sunday, November 06, 2016 1:39 AM
> >
> >     To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> >
> >     Subject: Re: [ADS-L] The NYT: comma > semi-colon
> >
> >
> >
> >     Further:
> >
> >
> >
> >     Wilson's original NYT cite: "... in Chicago; St. Louis; Orlando,
> Fla.; and
> >     suburban Henry County, Ga."
> >
> >
> >
> >     I'd do as:
> >
> >
> >
> >     "... in Chicago, St. Louis, Orlando (Fla.), and suburban Henry
> >     County, Ga."
> >
> >
> >
> >     ... where by the time we reach suburban Henry County, the context
> >     disambiguates the final comma.
> >
> >
> >
> >     "... Henry County (Ga.)." strikes me as a little picky, even though
> the
> >     parens should possibly be there for the sake of consistency with
> "(Fla.)".
> >
> >
> >
> >     [Though as a poor benighted Brit, I may be getting my geographical
> >     abbreviations in a twist.]
> >
> >
> >
> >     Robin Hamilton
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >     ------------------------------------------------------------
> >     The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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