X and Y and Z Vs. X, Y and Z

As a stylistic norm, more frequently I see the former, but in general I prefer the latter. To me the latter seems more deliberate and thought out, whereas the former sounds like one is just tacking on and on and on off the cuff. Any other thoughts and opinions and preferences? (See what I mean?)

I prefer the serial comma (X, Y, and Z).

I also prefer “X, Y and Z” when the series is thought out ahead of time.

The wrinkle comes in when X, Y and Z are not parallel, but that form is used anyway. Then it just irks me.

in speech there would be commas then ‘and’ for ordinary things.

with spoken math or in writing i would use all commas. this for axes, variables, constants or whatever.

:dubious: You really see “X and Y and Z” more often than “X, Y, and Z” or “X, Y and Z”? I almost never see “X and Y and Z”.

I do to. I guess it’s the programmer in me. But there seems to be a general preference to skip the second comma. I only see (X and Y and Z) when done for emphasis.


Serial comma, always. Learn it, live it, love it.

Non-serial comma use is for poofters.

Wouldn’t the sentence ‘I want to put a hyphen between the words Fish and And and And and Chips in my Fish-and-Chips sign’ have been clearer if quotation marks had been placed before Fish, and between Fish and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and Chips, as well as after Chips?

Did you hear that pop? That was my cerebellum.

Old-school FORTRAN programmer here. Only X .AND. Y .AND. Z will parse.

Actually, here is my boeuf with a serial list like this:
W, X, Y and Z
W, X, Y or Z
It’s awkward to read and understand these sorts of lists, because you have to read the whole list and not know until you reach the end whether it’s an AND list or an OR list. Then, once I know that, I have to go and re-read the sentence again to understand it right.

Spelling out “W and X and Y and Z”, or “W or X or Y or Z” makes it clear right from the start – but it’s tediously verbose.

We need a grammatical construct to write AND and OR lists that fixes this. Something like putting the AND or OR at the beginning of the list:
W and X, Y, Z
W or X, Y, Z