Contemporary essays, fiction, and opinion offered regularly by author Anne Brandt.

Question for the week
Is there anything wrong with the following phrase? "It cost less to reuse boxes than to buy new ones."
Rules of the Games
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"Gus" , who likes to ride motorcycles with her husband, asks...
Would you say "is" or "are" when saying --enclosed is/are an application, job description, memo, orientation information and a letter?
Anne answers...
I would rewrite this sentence in one of the following ways to avoid the confusion and ambiquity that the current sentence has. First way: Enclosed are the following: application form, job description, memo, orientation information, and a letter. The colon indicates there is a lot more coming and it justifies the plural verb. Or second way: Enclosed is an application form, a job description, a memo, orientation information, and a letter. Putting a or an in front of each item makes it clear that you are referring to each in the singular. So you use 'is.'
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