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denise

How do I write this sentence correctly?

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Hello,

 

This is the sentence I'm trying to put together... Is this the correct way to say/punctuate this?

 

"Article topics range from parenting to relationships; from crafting to business issues."

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Guest Louise

 

I posted a reply but I don't know what happened, it seemed to disappear ????

 

Anyway, I think the colon : would be better than a semi-colon ;

 

The rule is

 

Use a colon : before a list, summary or quote

 

Use a semi-colon ; to link two separate sentences that are closely related and in a list that already contains commas

 

 

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I would vote for the semicolon.

 

Article topics range from parenting to relationships; {Article topics range} from crafts to business issues.

 

According to my Webster's Standard American Style Manual: "....a semicolon is often thought of as either a weak period or a strong comma. As a weak period, the semicolon marks the end of a complete clause and signals that the clause that follows it is closely related to the clause that proceeds it. As a strong coma, the semicolon clarifies meaning usually by distinguising major sentence divisions from the minor pauses that are represented by commas."

 

Article topics (subject) range (verb) applies to both clauses, making the semicolon a weak period, imo.

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This is a tough one, Denise! :huh:

 

I've come across similar situations in the past, and I have yet to find a specific guideline that applies. Perhaps there's something hiding deep in the pages of my style guides, but it hasn't jumped out at me yet. It's a difficult topic to "google" too.

 

With that said, my vote is "None of the above"!

 

A semicolon typically separates independent clauses, which are clauses that could stand on their own as sentences. "From crafting to business issues" isn't an independent clause, so a semicolon doesn't really work in this case. I don't think a colon works either since the second part of the sentence doesn't clarify or summarize the first part.

 

I think I'd go with something like this, although it may not be ideal:

"Article topics range from parenting to relationships and from crafting to business issues."

 

I've also seen constructions like this, but I'm not entirely sure whether it would be considered grammatically correct:

"Article topics range from parenting to relationships to business issues."

 

That's my best guess! Hopefully someone will be able to dig up a rule or guideline and clear this up once and for all!

 

Anybody? :)

 

Angela

 

 

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Denise,

 

Mrs. Forbes, my high school English teacher, taught us to write it this way:

"Article topics range from parenting to relationships and from crafting to business issues."

 

Debbie Lynn

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Angela and Debbie's suggestion to use the word "and" for clarification would not be a bad thing to do.

 

The semicolon shown in the Webster's guide still only appeals to me as useful in notes for speaking. A sign for me to make a 'pregnant pause' in the list. It works better when spoken than when being read.

 

This list of four is so amazingly inclusive and yet not specific, maybe more specific bullets would work. Or saying "there will be nearly any topic you want to talk about without being specific."

 

Luv it when someone brings up a tough one!

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Thanks for your help! I really appreciate all of your suggestions.

 

RE: "Article topics range from parenting to relationships to business issues."

 

I've seen that frequently too, but I'm not sure it's correct. It bugs me for some reason.

 

I think I'll go with the "and" that Angela and Debbie suggested. I usually try to avoid sentences like this, but it fits so well this time, I wanted to see if I could make it work. :)

 

Thanks ladies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There are two seperate identification topics there...therefore, "and" would be appropriate in my opinion...and as always, when in doubt, leave it out. (meaning colons, semi-colons, and the two to's) hehe

 

Mary Beth Marino

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Hi Denise,

 

It depends on the context. Being a copywriter, I feel it's okay to break a few rules now and then if it helps the flow of the copy and/or creates intimacy with your readers. If this was part of a web page that was selling something or trying to persuade in general, my instinct would be to just use a comma like this:

 

"Article topics range from parenting to relationships, from crafting to business issues."

 

Some alternatives might be (without knowing the context/surrounding content of course):

 

"Article topics range from parenting to relationships, from crafting to business issues, and everything in between."

 

"From parenting to relationships, from crafting to business issues, our article topics have you covered."

 

Or something along those lines :)

 

Good luck!

 

Karri

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Hi Denise,

 

It depends on the context. Being a copywriter, I feel it's okay to break a few rules now and then if it helps the flow of the copy and/or creates intimacy with your readers.

 

Thanks Karri! The best part of learning the rules is getting to break them once in a while. He he. :)

 

This is for a press release I'm working on, so I wanted to get it right this time.

 

Mary Beth, thanks for your input. That's a helpful little rhyme to remember:

 

"When in doubt leave it out."

 

Thanks everyone!

 

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