Which Which Is That?

As a writing trainer and editor, I am often asked about the distinction between the words “which” and “that.” Briefly, it is a stylistic preference, not a grammatical rule. Customarily, the word “which” introduces non-restrictive or non-essential information. The word “that” introduces restrictive or essential information. Given this, the word “which” always takes a comma; […]

Ante-Who?: Pronoun Usage in Technical Writing

Despite their small size, pronouns cause a world of trouble for writers of technical documents. First, if pronouns aren’t placed correctly, they can cause serious misunderstanding, and when documents are being revised often by multiple authors, these tiny words can get lost in the shuffle. Second, the many different classes and sub-classes of pronouns each […]

It’s the Little Words that Count

Lovers of words understand the joy attendant on a new book even if it is old. My most recent acquisition is a slim claret and dun volume printed by Funk and Wagnalls in 1953 called Standard Handbook of Prepositions, Conjunctions, Relative Pronouns and Adverbs. The missing comma in the title is deliberate, not the product […]