Usage and Grammar
Q. Regarding the use of and in a short parenthetical list, here is an example: “channels that confer sensitivity to heat (TrpV1, TrpM2, TrpM3).” My project manager thinks there is a need to place and between the last two items in the parens. I know of no such rule and cannot think of a reason why the word would be necessary (other than the customer is always right). Any insights on this minor dilemma?
A. English isn’t as bossy as a lot of people believe. There’s no rule that a series must include and. When someone makes up a rule, don’t fall for it! Reply, “Ah—I didn’t know that rule! Could you please tell me where I can find it?”