RE: reduced relative clause: -ing form vs. which

Subject: RE: reduced relative clause: -ing form vs. which
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: Phil Snow Leopard <philstokes03 -at- googlemail -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2012 11:03:16 -0400

Hmm. On reflection, I concede that point.

However, as a techwriter long familiar with the issues of an
audience that includes both low reading level and ESL readers,
I simply don't use "which" without the comma, since it offers
so much scope for confusion. I guess I've been keeping the
"that/which," distinction separate for so long (well over 25 years)
and have seen SO many people use it incorrectly, that a "which"
not followed by a comma is gone from my repertoire. . . being
unnecessary and trouble-prone and all. . .

> -----Original Message-----
> From: techwr-l-bounces+kevin -dot- mclauchlan=safenet-inc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-
> l.com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+kevin.mclauchlan=safenet-
> inc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Phil Snow Leopard
> Sent: March-29-12 10:45 AM
> To: McLauchlan, Kevin
> Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: Re: reduced relative clause: -ing form vs. which
>
> 'that' and 'which' are semantically equivalent when used in adjective
> clauses and not preceded by a comma.
>
> There is no difference between 'restrictive', 'defining', or
> 'necessary' - they are synonyms for the same function.
>
> Old-school grammar teachers will know that 'relative clause' is a fancy
> modern name for 'adjective clause', a far more useful moniker in my
> book, as it tells the function of the clause, which is to describe the
> noun or noun phrase (or occassionally the sense of the whole preceding
> main clause) that it immediately follows.
>
> Phil
> On 29 Mar 2012, at 21:39, McLauchlan, Kevin wrote:
>
> > I disagree. The guy who talked about restrictive clause had the
> idea...
> >
> > To me, [a] and [c] are equivalent and are probably the useful ones in
> this context.
> > They say that a custom map is a ZIP file (a general type of object,
> not necessarily an identical equivalent to a custom map, since ZIP
> files can be many more things than custom maps), and they say what that
> particular _instance_ or type of a ZIP file happens to contain. The
> definition of a "custom map" is not that it is a ZIP file. The
> definition of a "custom map" is that it is a particular subset of ZIP
> file, based on particular contents.
> >
> > Item [b], by the use of "which", _defines_ what a ZIP file is (in
> this case, a ZIP file is defined as containing whatever items are
> listed after "...the following..."). That's wrong.
> > Either a ZIP file is a compressed archive of any of a vast assortment
> of possible file contents, OR a ZIP file is now redefined to be "a
> thing containing exactly what a 'custom map' would contain".
> >
> >
> >
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: techwr-l-bounces+kevin.mclauchlan=safenet-
> inc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-
> >> l.com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+kevin.mclauchlan=safenet-
> >> inc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Phil Snow Leopard
> >> Sent: March-29-12 10:26 AM
> >> To: B.J. Smith
> >> Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> >> Subject: Re: reduced relative clause: -ing form vs. which
> >>
> >> All of the following are grammatically correct and all mean the same
> >> thing:
> >>
> >> [a] A custom map is a ZIP file containing the following...
> >>
> >> [b] A custom map is a ZIP file which contains the following...
> >>
> >> [c] A custom map is a Zip file that contains the following...
> >>
> >> Both [b] and [c] are defining relative clauses. I wouldn't call [a]
> a
> >> clause at all (though some grammar books do) because for me a clause
> by
> >> definition has to have a subject and a tensed verb.
> >>
> >> I'd call [a] (or at least this part of it "containing the
> >> following...") either an adjective phrase or a participle phrase.
> >>
> >> As for usage, personally I prefer to use the least verbiage to get
> the
> >> message across clearly, so I'd plump for [a] other things being
> equal.
> >> Those "other things" might include:
> >>
> >> -In some genres and styles of writing, its better to be verbose
> >> -in some genres you may want to vary sentence patterns (e.g., if you
> >> had a couple of sentences with defining relative clauses one after
> the
> >> other, you might want to use the adjective phrase to avoid a
> repetitive
> >> style).
> >>
> >> The short answer is there is no 'correct' or 'more correct' pattern
> to
> >> use in any absolute sense. Like so many things with writing (and
> what
> >> makes it an art), It's a matter of style, context and purpose.
> >>
> >> Best
> >>
> >> Phil
> >>
> >> On 29 Mar 20 12, at 21:14, B.J. Smith wrote:
> >>
> >>> I'm not sure about the "reduced relative clause" question, but I
> >> would prefer [b] after replacing "which" with "that."
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> On 3/29/2012 7:46 AM, Yves Barbion wrote:
> >>>> Hi again group
> >>>>
> >>>> Which do you prefer and why:
> >>>>
> >>>> [a] A custom map is a ZIP file containing the following...
> >>>>
> >>>> [b] A custom map is a ZIP file which contains the following...
> >>>>
> >>>> Am I right in thinking that "a" is a "reduced relative clause",
> >> which is
> >>>> incorrect in this particular example?
> >>>>
> >>>> Thanks
> >>>>
> >>>
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References:
reduced relative clause: -ing form vs. which: From: Yves Barbion
Re: reduced relative clause: -ing form vs. which: From: B.J. Smith
Re: reduced relative clause: -ing form vs. which: From: Phil Snow Leopard
RE: reduced relative clause: -ing form vs. which: From: McLauchlan, Kevin
Re: reduced relative clause: -ing form vs. which: From: Phil Snow Leopard

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