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Reply to "Should I separate this list's elements with semicolons?"

Hi, Andrew,



  • the new law makes “every child in the state who is already in private school or being homeschooled eligible for the new funds” right away; means an “immediate cost increase of nearly $600 million”; and opens “the door for all of Arizona’s 1.1 million public school students to follow suit”

I don't like the semicolons above. Semicolons are normally used to separate items of a list (not verb phrases) which in turn contain commas, or main clauses within a larger sentence which, for semantic or functional reasons, are found to require a lower degree of separation than the one provided by periods, as in your example below:



Paul Romer talks about “charter cities”; Patri Friedman talks about “seasteads”; libertarians use the generic term “startup cities”; and libertarians invoke the examples of British-ruled Hong Kong and Dubai.

Although the semicolons are correct above, I'd use commas. This would in turn allow you to combine the last two clauses, which share the same subject, "libertarians."

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