There is a quote from local translation bureau website:

A translation shall be excellent in every respect: style, and formatting, and words, and meaning.

Is this usage of commas correct?

I've checked Wikipedia article Serial Comma and have found a lot of references to different style guides with examples there but it seems that no one supports such usage as above.

  • I wouldn't use them that way: style, formatting, words, and meaning. is okay, as is style, formatting, words and meaning. Considering that it's a website, style and formatting and words and meaning. is probably fine too. But this is a judgment call, not something that can be adjudicated by anything as precise as the infield fly rule. – user264 Apr 14 '13 at 7:11
  • @BillFranke I've checked wikipedia article for Serial Comma and there is a lot of references to style guides but no one seems to support such usage as in my example. – AlexD Apr 14 '13 at 8:48
  • 1
    When making a list of comma-separated items, the only time "and" is included is before the last item. Connecting all the items in a list with "and" instead of commas is considered poor style, but on the Net, style is all about graphics, not grammar, punctuation, word choice, or usage. – user264 Apr 14 '13 at 9:37

The comma is used correctly. It's the abuse of multiple and that causes your doubt. This is not entirely incorrect but considered poor style unless used specifically with impact on mind:

Mary found a candy under the tree, and a chocolate steps further, and a lollipop at feet of a bush, and a cookie by some flowers, and a caramel in the grass, and two peppermints by the path, and a few tootsie rolls along the path, and two candy canes upon the doors of a house of gingerbread.

Remove the redundant and-s and you lose the meaning, the sense of blundering travel from point to point - you just describe a set of gathered candies, not walking from one to another.

I think in the case attached the writer wanted to convey that all the elements are essential and none can be thought as "secondary", that's why the abuse of "and" which normal rules of grammar would require only to be placed before the last item.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.