Re: Commas & Quotes: responses

Subject: Re: Commas & Quotes: responses
From: Richard Mateosian <srm -at- C2 -dot- ORG>
Date: Sat, 20 Jan 1996 17:17:41 -0800

>> First select "Edit", and then "Cut".

> ... the understood verb being "select".

The reader will understand, but may do a double take first. The structure
"First x, and then y" suggests different verbs for x and y:

First verb1 object1, and then verb2 object2.

If you want to omit verb 2 and have it understood to be the same as verb1,
you need to "factor out" verb 1:

Verb1 (first object1 and then object 2).

This leads to a clumsy sentence: Select first Edit and then Cut.

If you want to eliminate the double take and be even more concise, write:

Select Edit, then Cut. ...RM

Richard Mateosian http://www.c2.org/~srm/ President, Berkeley STC
Freelance Technical Writer srm -at- c2 -dot- org Review Editor, IEEE Micro


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