How to use INCLUDE properly.

The International Vintage Guitar Collectors Association advertisement I mentioned yesterday also contained this sentence:

The rarest guitars these collectors are looking for include: Martin, Gibson, Gretsch and Rickenbacker.

When INCLUDE is used in a sentence (as opposed to setting up a bullet list), it is not necessary to add a colon.  I also find the phrasing ARE LOOKING FOR INCLUDE a little awkward.  I would suggest rewording the sentence this way, with the colon omitted:

These collectors are seeking the rarest guitars, including Martin, Gibson, Gretsch and Rickenbacker.

Here is another point to remember about using INCLUDE–a tip from one of my favorite word references, The American Heritage Dictionary. "Include is used most appropriately before an incomplete list of components: The ingredients of the cake include butter and egg yolk. If all the components are named, it is generally clearer to write: The ingredients are…."  I like the American Heritage dictionaries because they include so many of these useful comments about usage along with the definitions.

INCLUDE was the appropriate choice for the guitar sentence because the writer wanted to convey the idea that these four brands are AMONG (but not the only) guitars collectors are seeking.

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2 Responses to “How to use INCLUDE properly.”

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