The Magic of Syntactic Cues

By Michelle Corbin

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published as a post to Michelle’s blog, Technical Editors: Arbiters of Quality, on January 23, 2012.

Recently, I ran across a Grammar Girl article that was guest authored by a linguist about the topic of omitting the word “that” from sentences. This post in particular talked about how newspaper editors tend to delete or omit the word, even when it creates a more confusing sentence for the reader. He breaks down his discussion into omitting the word “that” after verbs, nouns, and adjectives, and ultimately concludes that native English speakers should really just go by their ear to determine when to omit it. I really enjoyed reading this linguist’s perspective on this grammar question.
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The Wicked Which and Other Fairy Tales

by Andrea Wenger
Andrea Wenger ( is the Membership Manager, Technical Editing SIG. Note: This article originally appeared in the Carolina Communique, the newsletter of the STC Carolina Chapter.

Popular culture is filled with myths about grammar. Taught by generations of English teachers, these stories admonish little children to cling to the straight and narrow path, rather than venturing into the woods of creative communication. Some of these stories are usage guidelines rather than rules. Others are pure fantasy, the flight of some pedagogue’s imagination. Read the rest of this entry »