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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