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February 2011 Volume 7 Issue 2

The Write Stuff

February 2011  Volume 7 Issue 2

Some of My Writing Pet Peeves

Every other month, I’m going to share some writing blunders that drive me crazy. Don’t be surprised if you see some of these all the time; that’s one of the reasons they’re my pet peeves.

Incorrect Use of Including

Wrong: There are five teams in the Pacific Division within three points of each other, including the Dallas Stars, Anaheim Ducks, Phoenix Coyotes, San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings.

Right: There are five teams in the Pacific Division within three points of each other: the Dallas Stars, Anaheim Ducks, Phoenix Coyotes, San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings.

Also Right: There are five teams in the Pacific Division within three points of each other, including the Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks.

I hope you see the subtle difference. If you’re going to provide an entire list, include is the wrong word to introduce it. Use a colon, as I did in the “Right” example. Include is appropriate when you’re providing a few examples from a larger list, as in the “Also Right” example.
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