DR. ENGLISH: Include and Comprise 

“Including” does not mean “limited to.” Nonetheless, some people seem to write as though “including” doesn’t exist. What does? “Including, but not limited to.” How dumb does that sound? As dumb as eschewing “The alphabet includes A, B, and C.” in favor of “The alphabet includes, but is not limited to, A, B, and C.”

If you stated, “The alphabet comprises A, B, and C,” you’d be wrong, because comprises implies a limitation, which is why “The alphabet comprises 26 letters.” would be correct.

Of course, there are those who would also point out that “The alphabet currently comprises 26 letters,” in case you might confuse today’s alphabet with one that may come into existence sometime in the future.

And there also are some who would say, “The alphabet does not comprise 46 letters,” without indicating how many it does comprise. And, by all means, let’s give a big shout-out to those afflicted with PVA (passive-voice addiction), who would state, “The alphabet is comprised of 26 letters.”