Re: That and Which--is it worth it?

Subject: Re: That and Which--is it worth it?
From: Sally Marquigny <SALLYM -at- MSMAILHQ -dot- NETIMAGE -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 1994 13:29:00 PST

[Soapbox on]
We should never underestimate the power of reading good grammar! When I
taught ENG 101 courses at Nora's & my alma mater ;) I reassured the
grammar-phobic freshmen that they needed to trust their *ears*. If it
sounded awkward, it was probably because they'd "heard" it written and
spoken differently most of their lives. The only things they usually got
tricked on were the phrases and constructions that the general populace
generally gets wrong, particularly in spoken English.

So I think *we*, regardless of *what* we're writing, are more responsible
than even grammar instructors for influencing others' writing styles. Our
readers need to *understand* what we write, so we shouldn't write from an
ivory tower in the style of the 18th century. But likewise, we shouldn't go
too far into the vernacular just to fit in with "today".

Our audiences can understand a lot better grammar than they can compose, but
they'll never be able to compose good grammar if they don't read it often.
[Soapbox off]

Sally Marquigny Network Imaging Systems
sallym -at- msmailhq -dot- netimage -dot- com Herndon, VA

"It's a fine line." --Jackson Browne
To: Multiple recipients of list TECHWR-L
Subject: Re: That and Which--is it worth it?
Date: Friday, December 16, 1994 9:13AM

I think we should follow the rules, primarily because even though MOST of
audiences probably don't know, those that do are likely to be real
Also, it's our chance to strike a blow for decent grammar. I learned most of
my writing skills from reading a lot, so even if I don't know the rules, bad
grammar tends to "sound strange" to me. Perhaps we can help others to know
when things "sound strange."

merhar -at- alena -dot- switch -dot- rockwell -dot- com

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