List of adjectives joined by “or”: Should the final noun be singular or plural?

For example, should it be: A) Ask the Science, Math, or Art teachers. or B) Ask the Science, Math, or Art teacher. ? Answer Technically, you would only use “teacher” if there was one teacher for each of the subjects Science, Math(s), and Art. The choice is being presented as exclusive (science teacher OR math … Read more

List: Joining three compound items, two with a common element

Which one is the most proper way to structure a list comprising “metabolic diseases,” “microvascular complications,” and “macrovascular complications” in the following example: High blood glucose increases the risk of metabolic diseases, microvascular complications, and macrovascular complications. metabolic diseases, microvascular, and macrovascular complications. metabolic diseases and microvascular and macrovascular complications. metabolic diseases, and microvascular and … Read more

Punctuating a list at the end of a dependent clause?

From what I’ve gathered, it’s best to place a list at the end of a sentence. But I’m having a hard time fixing the following sentences without affecting the meaning. The sentences in question: But if you press X, Y, or Z on your keyboard, the cube will only move along the corresponding global axis. … Read more

Is it better to list adjectives, with an “and”?

When we use more than one adjective, e.g. The big, red, bouncy balloon. The list of three adjectives {big, red, and bouncy} is a list, so by rights it should be separated by commas, with an “and” between the last two terms. If somebody asked us to describe the balloon we would without hesitation say … Read more

What is the horizontal equivalent of “all of the above”?

All of the above tends to be used to refer to options that have been described in previous lines in a bulleted list, and I’m wondering how to do the same in a sentence. For example, would the following sentence be correct, and would there be a better way that merely saying “all three”: They … Read more

Academic writing: enumerating properties of which several may apply

In an academic paper I currently say the following: State-of-the-art research tackles parts of the problem: security and multi-tenancy solutions exist but require hardware, do not meet shared use security concerns or are not applicable to constrained devices. What I intend to convey is that these solutions either: require possible hardware and/or not meet shared-use … Read more

Can I use “respectively” to refer to a list in the previous sentence?

Is the following sentence a correct usage of the word “respectively”, or can it only be used if the things it is referring to are listed in the same sentence? “There was a dog, a cat, and a hamster. Their names were Jess, Marc and Sam respectively.” Answer I think the usage works just fine. … Read more

help: punctuating a long list containing abbreviations

any suggestions for the following list: “such as: joiner, Hollaender swivel T, Hollaender horizontal flat plate, jr. end piece, Hollaender split cross, flange base, [Matthews] Big Ben, speedrail ear, swiveling alum. Cheeseboro, Modern swiveling cheeseboro, Modern sliding D-ring, grid clamp to 3/8” thread (often used with cheeseplate), side mount jr. grid clamp, baby grid clamp, … Read more