I recently edited this question. One of the changes I made was the following:
"Knowing how to jump and being able to run was/were crucial during my high jump career."
Knowing how to jump and being able to run (was|were) crucial during my high jump career.
This is based on a vague memory I have that this is the proper way to indicate options among words (to indicate that the sentence is intended with one word or the other, not a semantic combination of both).
The question has since been edited back to something more like the original, but with added spaces that seem especially strange to me:
Knowing how to jump and being able to run **was / were** crucial during my high jump career.
This made me wonder why I think it should be the way I wrote it, and what the official way might be.
I’m having a really hard time searching for a rule for this online. I’m not sure how to describe what I’m looking for in unambiguous terms, and every search string I try gives me inapplicable results.
Does anyone know of an official practice for presenting a choice between words?
This doesn’t strike me as something that would be especially concerning to learners of English, but it does seem like something that would interest members of the community as users of this site. Of course if I’m wrong on that, then I’m happy to migrate or delete this question as appropriate.