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I created this question for two reasons:

  1. I want to know if it is proper to place a comma after the word and (in bold) below.

  2. This sentence is kind of clunky, like many of my sentences, and it helps if more advanced writers chop it up and express it in a more clear format. Please offer me your re-written sentence, and tell me why you changed it.

124 delegates from 12 countries attended the Symposium and were met with multiple workshops and speeches, here are a few: Scaling Conservation Ag to Confront the Upcoming Famine; Permaculture: A tool for self-reliance; and, Opportunities & Challenges for Reversing Soil Fertility Depletion and Increasing Crop Productivity.

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This question came from our site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts.

1 Answer 1

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Actually, both commas should be removed from that sentence. The first one is a comma splice; it should be removed and replaced with a period, to create two complete sentences. That alone will help break up your unwieldy passage and make it easier to read.

The second comma should be removed because you don't put punctuation after the conjunction near the end of a list of items: parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. (In addition, your semicolons can be converted to commas. Generally, you only use semicolons to separate items in a list if one or more of the items contain commas themselves, and you need to use the semicolon as a sort of "supercomma.")

Because the items in the list are so long and unwieldy, if it were up to me I'd probably convert them to a bulleted list, if my project style guide permitted it:

124 delegates from 12 countries attended the Symposium and were met with multiple workshops and speeches. Here are a few:

  • Scaling Conservation Ag to Confront the Upcoming Famine
  • Permaculture: A tool for self-reliance
  • Opportunities & Challenges for Reversing Soil Fertility Depletion and Increasing Crop Productivity.
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PH is exactly correct! Basically, change a comma to a period wherever possible. And don't hesitate to use bullet points. –  Joe Blow Jun 18 '11 at 20:41
3  
I agree and +1. But please don't listen to Joe Blow. The last thing the world needs is more PowerPoint slides. ^)^ –  Robusto Jun 18 '11 at 20:54

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