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Write the Right Word: Include, Such As

This comes under the heading of writing concisely. People don’t want to take time to read long articles, so the faster we make our point, the more likely readers will retain what they read.

One way to write concisely is eliminating unnecessary words. For example: “and more,”  “and others” and “etc.” at the end of a list of people or things starting with “such as” or variations of “include” (includes, including). You’ve seen those sentences: “The camp will be filled with activities including sack races, rock climbing, swimming and more!” “The program is intended for researchers such as biologists, ecologists, soil scientists and others.”

“Such as” and “including” mean you are giving readers examples, not providing them with an all-inclusive list, so the “and more,” “and others” and “etc.” are redundant.

Also, if you intend to provide an entire list, do not use “include” or “such as” to introduce that list because readers will assume it is incomplete. Instead: “The towns participating in the program are Tower, Watford City and Bottineau.”

Ellen Crawford, (701) 231-5391, ellen.crawford@ndsu.edu

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