Monday, July 24, 2006

Why is it that people who can't write insist on editing the work of, oh, I don't know -- other people? I don't mean other people who can't write in the manner that yours truly can't write: overwrought, compound sentences that contain too many ideas, poorly expressed.

I mean people who can't distinguish "which" from "that," or people who don't have a clue when a comma should be used to set off a modifying phrase.

Do they insist on editing just to piss me off?


Anonymous Mister Parker said...

This, from Strunk & White:

"That is the defining, or restrictive pronoun, which the nondefining, or nonrestrictive."

Hey, that clears it up for me!

Especially when they follow it up with these nuanced examples:

"The lawn mower that is broken is in the garage."

"The lawn mower, which is broken, is in the garage."

Since my lawn mower is working just fine, I'm not going to worry about it one way or the other.

Monday, July 24, 2006 2:28:00 pm  
Anonymous dieter, who loves skeeter said...

Brian Garner's Modern American Usage has a lengthy explanation that does a bang-up job of explaining the restrictive and non-restrictive clauses, but it's too long to quote here. one example's a good 'un, though: "All the cars that were purchased before 2002 need to have their airbags replaced." The clause set off by that is the restrictive clause. "All the cars, which were purchased before 2002, need to have their airbags replaced." The nonrestrictive clause, set off by commas and which, provides, nonessential, supplemental information. It could be omitted without changing the sentence; the restrictive clause couldn't.

But I didn't post this to get geeky about language and writing. I posted it to get pissed off at a little shit who doesn't write well, but thinks that "Track Changes" and editing everything anyone writes is an important task for him to perform.

Whew -- I feel better.

Monday, July 24, 2006 3:54:00 pm  
Anonymous Deeeter said...

Paste this:

Political Science

by ol' Randy Newman. For your trouble. For the gentleman!

Monday, July 24, 2006 3:57:00 pm  
Anonymous detritus said...

It sorta sucks to rail against somebody for being a busybody shit editor and then otice that your rant has an inadvertent comma that makes it [typically] unintelligible.

Another day, another Dubster!

Monday, July 24, 2006 4:11:00 pm  

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