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Q. I do not know how to deal with a sentence with two prepositions very close to each another: Drill pilot holes through the bottom and top panels into the side panels. Everyone at my workplace thinks I should add “and” so it reads: Drill pilot holes through the bottom and top panels and into the side panels. I have five people saying to use the “and.” I’m truly torn.
A. The fact that five people are complaining about this should tell you that it’s not yet clear enough. Your own version suggests that the drill passes through the top and into the side in one motion, which is one possibility. Your colleagues’ version suggests that the top holes are drilled first, and then the side holes. Try to write it so there’s no doubt. For instance, Drill pilot holes through the bottom and top panels and then into the side panels. Please keep trying—everyone with a power drill will thank you.