GrammarPhile Blog

And...and more

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Oct 24, 2012 5:30:00 AM

And. Retain and before the last item in a series, even though that last item consists of two words joined by and.

  • We need to increase our expense budgets for advertising, staff training, and research and development.
  • (NOT: We need to increase our expense budgets for advertising, staff training, research and development.)

Beginning a sentence with and or some other coordinating conjunction (but, or, or nor) can be an effective means--if not overused--of giving special attention to the thought that follows the conjunction. No comma should follow the conjunction at the start of a new sentence unless a parenthetical element occurs at that point.

  • Last Friday George promised to submit the market analysis this Monday. And then he took off on a two-week vacation.
  • Tell him to return to the office at once. Or else.
  • BUT: George called this morning from Lake Tahoe to say that the report was undergoing some last-minute changes and would be on my desk by 11 a.m. And, to my delight, it was!

NOTE: Each of the sentences above illustrates how this device can be effectively used. However, these sentences also illustrate, when taken as a whole, how quickly the overuse of this device dissipates its effectiveness.

And etc. Never use and before etc.

And/or. Try to avoid this legalistic term in ordinary writing.

Source: The Gregg Reference Manual.


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