7.07.2011

Going Which Hunting

Yesterday's laptop.

In this episode of Amy Mac’s Wonderful World of Writing Well we are focusing on when to use the word that and when to use the word which. 

Painful, I know, but the goal here is to build our writing repertoire so our correspondence is as professional and smart as all you Amy Mac readers. The easiest way to remember the difference:

THAT is a specific, restrictive pronoun
We are taking that car to the movies.

WHICH is non-specific, non-restrictive pronoun
The car, which is parked on the street, is the one to take to the movies.

If you’re like me, you’re thinking “AWKWARD!” The sentence with “which” sounds weird, no? This is why The Elements of Style encourages us to go which-hunting, saying “careful writers, watchful for small conveniences, go which-hunting, remove the defining whiches, and by doing so improve their work.”

So the next time you’re writing a letter, a proposal or presentation, do a search for whiches and rework the sentences.

I so wish it was Halloween time right now, as this would be a perfect post. Tons of Salem references running through my head right now.

Xo-Amy Mac

No comments: