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example etcetera…

ABCsWriting a complete list can be tedious, so we tend to write out part of a list as a sample instead. Implying it is a sample even when we think we have written out the entire list, can also be useful – it protects you from giving an absolute.

So how do we imply it is part of a list? We start the list with something like ‘for example’, ‘such as’, ‘including’ or ‘something like’ OR we end the list with ‘etcetera’, ‘and so on’, ‘and more’, ‘or another…’ or ‘and similar.’

The key word is or – we start or end the sentence to indicate it is an incomplete list, not both.

“For example, we offer red, blue, orange, pink, etcetera” is unnecessary.

In fact, example means here is a subset of the whole while etcetera means there is more or the rest is to come. So the above sentence means “The subset is red, blue, orange, pink, and the rest”

“For example, we offer red, blue, orange and pink” or “We offer red, blue, orange, pink and other colours” makes more sense, is shorter and is correct!

So please don’t write example and etcetera in the same sentence!

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