semi-colons and state abbreviations
The below sentence received a 100 percent rating, but I want to make sure it's correct, since I suspect I should use a semicolon between CA and Malibu. Plus should Mass be MA or Mass?
I want to sail to San Francisco, CA, Malibu, Ca and Cape Cod, Mass.
Journalists like to drop the comma before the "and" when there are three or more items in a series. But as Mamma used to say, if your friends said jomp off a bridge, would you?
Because the meaning can change if the comma is omitted, I say always use it ... especially in formal writing and documents with legal import. Some twenty years ago, a project I was associated with became embroiled in a several million dollar lawsuit that hinged on whether the contract meant three items , or two (one having a compound name like "block and tackle"). The judge said two and the Contractor earned a tidy profit to provide all three items. The Owner sued the Architect for the added cost, and the Architect was put out of business.
|link||answered Apr 03 '12 at 00:36 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow|
Yes, in your example sentence, you'd need a semicolon before Malibu. As for the abbreviation of Massachusetts, you'll want to stay consistent with the other items in your list -- so MA is the way to go:
I want to sail to San Francisco, CA; Malibu, CA and Cape Cod, MA.
But since the locations of all three cities are pretty well-known, you could also leave out the states, entirely (depending on your audience):
I want to sail to San Francisco, Malibu and Cape Cod.
|link comment||answered Apr 02 '12 at 20:21 Actually Holly Expert|
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