TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Strunk & White's "that" From:"Pickett-Harner, Molly" <mop1 -at- NIORDS1 -dot- EM -dot- CDC -dot- GOV> Date:Thu, 1 Feb 1996 11:55:00 EST
Strunk & White's wee book is such a fun read -- couldn't resist adding
Strunk, says White, "...devotes a special paragraph to the vile expression
<the fact that,> a phrase that causes him to quiver with revulsion....The
student learns to cut the deadwood from 'this is a subject that,' reducing
it to 'this subject...' " [p. xiv]
"The ear...must decide when to omit <that> from a sentence, when to retain
it. 'He knew he could do it' is preferable to 'He knew that he could do it'
-- simpler and just as clear. But in many cases the <that> is needed. 'He
felt that his big nose, which was sunburned,,,,' Omit the <that> and you
have 'He felt his big nose....' " [p. 78]
See how easy it is? Dennis: your mentor must have been Strunk's student?
mop1 -at- niords1 -dot- em -dot- cdc -dot- gov
harner -at- access -dot- mountain -dot- net
To: Multiple recipients of list TECHWR-L
Subject: Re: Usage of "that"
Date: Thursday, February 01, 1996 6:15AM
On Wednesday, January 31, 1996 4:26 PM, Dennis Hays wrote:
>My old mentor taught me to remove the "that" and re-read the sentence.
If it makes sense, leave it out.