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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Rules for Listing Items

It can be difficult to determine what kind of punctuation to use when the people you're transcribing start listing items or terms at random. Here are a few rules to remember when you run into such circumstances:

  • When you are introducing a list it is appropriate to use a colon if the clause preceding the list is a complete independent clause/stand-alone sentence.

To start transcribing you need: a word processor, headphones and a transcription player.

To start transcribing you need a few software applications and hardware: a transcription player, a word processor and a set of headphones.

  • Use semicolons between list items if the items themselves are complete sentences.

If we hurry to the baseball game we can find a good parking spot; we can get there early to get a free bobblehead at the door; and we can get our food and be sitting by the time the first pitch is thrown.

We will be driving to and stopping in Austin, Texas; Phoenix, Arizona and Lincoln, Nebraska when we go on vacation in October.

  • When people use letters or numerals to list items enclose them in parentheses.
We need to (a) go back to where we started, (b) make sure we didn't drop them on our way out to the car while retracing our steps and (c) keep our eyes peeled for our key chain.