Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Grammar Police: "A Bit About ‘That’"

The New York Times recently ran an interesting article by Philip B. Corbett on grammar which talked about the word "that." For those students and lawyers who wish to polish their writing skills, it's a great article.

My colleague Ken Paul notes that we often stumble in deciding whether to use or omit the conjunction “that” after a verb like “said.”

Here’s the relevant entry in The Times’s stylebook:

that (conj.). After a verb like said, disclosed or announced, it is often possible to omit that for conciseness: He said he felt peaked. But if the words after said or any other verb can be mistaken for its direct object, the reader may be momentarily led down a false trail, and that must be retained: The mayor disclosed that her plan for the rhubarb festival would cost $3 million."

To read the rest of the article, go here.

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