A question of grammar vs. brevity?

Subject: A question of grammar vs. brevity?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: techwr-l List <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, David Downing <DavidDowning -at- users -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 02 Oct 2008 12:48:17 -0400

David Downing wondered: <<I want to create a single section of a
document that deals with both adding information to and removing
information from something. The completely grammatically correct
heading for this section would be something like: "Adding [the
information] to and removing [the information] from [the thing]." I
would like to avoid repeating "[the information].">>

Fortunately, English offers this really cool feature (at least in
service pack SP2 of the 64-bit "pro" version) referred to as a
pronoun. <g> In simpler terms, we call it an "it", to wit: "Adding
information to and removing it from the thing".

Better still, why not create a main heading "Modifying the
information in the thing", which presents information on all kinds of
things in common to adding and deleting, but that is then followed by
two subheadings: "Adding information" and "Removing information".
Odds are good that there are significant differences between the two;
for example, when adding information, you need to explain what to do
about duplicated or inconsistent information, whereas with deleting,
you need to discuss backups and other precautions that should be
taken if you err.

-- Geoff Hart
ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca / geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com
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A question of grammar vs. brevity.: From: Downing, David

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