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Subject:Re: Since/Which From:"Shalanna (Denise) Weeks" <dgweeks -at- SPDMAIL -dot- SPD -dot- DSCCC -dot- COM> Date:Wed, 2 Oct 1996 14:04:23 -0500
This kind of discussion is right in my bailiwick as a wordnerd, but the
tech writers who only want to talk about tech writing (and not argue
points of usage and style) may not want to see it. I wonder if there's a
list for people who like to talk about usage (like alt.usage.English, but
not full of foreign ESL students who ask mangled questions--full of
picayune*-liking types like us?)
*not in the sense of small-minded, but in the sense of "thinking the
trivial is worth discussing, and maybe not so trivial")
I am sure that style manuals disagree, but I do know that when I worked
temporarily at USData writing manuals for their software product, the
style guide said not to use "since" in the sense of "because." That was
because it was technical writing. In fiction, especially in dialogue, and
in chatty stuff, it's not as clear whether "since" in the sense of
causality is all that confusing. In fact, most people would understand
you in most cases. It's just that in technical writing, clarity at first
sight/first reading is the BIGGIE, so we don't want to do ANYTHING to make
them doubt, wonder, or regress.
Thus, in technical manuals, use "because." In fiction (such as the
examples that were given) and in personal essays (such as the "since she
kissed me" sentence), use your judgment.
If I find a wordnerd list, I'll tell how to subscribe.