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Incorporating single points

There are times when it seems appropriate to use a list, or when it is common practice to do so in your context, but what do you do if there is only one item to be listed?

When I wrote about numbered lists the other day, I mentioned that one item doesn’t make a list so something like the following looks a little silly:

Our product comes in these colours:

  1. blue

In this case, you have two real options – incorporate the item into a sentence or use a non-numbered list.

For the above example, sentence form will work much better:

Our product comes in blue.

In other situations, it may be required to use a list format even if there is only one item. A bullet point or em-dash is better than using a numbering system. This may apply, for example, making a point within a list…

Our product has the following specifications:

  1. 1m wide
  2. made of stainless steel
  3. suitable for domestic use
    10 year guarantee void in business settings
  4. 50kg when constructed

 

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