Clarity in All Things
First, I should apologize for late posting; I was either in the air or in one of four airports on Friday this week so regular orders had to take precedence over updating the blog in the limited time available. As a direct result of this travelling, however, I was also inspired to interrupt my four-part grammar series, Why Grammar is Necessary for Clarity, postponing the fourth and last part till next Friday. Why the interruption? Frustration with the lack of clarity that I encountered, in one airport in particular – I won’t name it but suffice to say that fabled Southern charm was sadly missing here – led me to consider the importance to businesses of all kinds of clarity. It’s not just to do with grammar, although that is often an essential factor, it’ ...
Why Grammar is Necessary for Clarity – Part 3 Pronouns
Part 3 in our Why Grammar is Necessary for Clarity series deals with pronouns. Injudicious use of pronouns can cause confusion, to say the least, in your writing. Consider a recent news headline: Boy saves pet dog from bear attack by stabbing it with a kitchen knife While we might guess at what happened here, it could be that the boy stabbed his dog with the kitchen knife – mercy killing? Unlikely, perhaps, but it’s still not 100% clear who the pronoun ‘it’ refers to in this context. Similarly: Pam was meeting her friend Sara for a shopping afternoon. When they met she suggested they go for a coffee first as she wanted her to try out a new cafe that she had discovered the previous week. Confused? I would be! It’ ...
Why Grammar is Necessary for Clarity – Part 2 The Comma
Following on from last week’s post, we look at how the humble comma can be essential for clarity. (Grammar, remember is all about clarity – avoiding confusion and misunderstandings.) Perhaps the most frequently quoted example of the difference a comma can make is: Let’s eat Grandma! versus Let’s eat, Grandma! The simple comma turns children from cannibalistic monsters to just normal, hungry children! What other purpose does the humble comma serve? It separates items in lists: On our trip we visited the Grand Canyon, San Francisco, Death Valley and Disneyland. It separates subordinate or dependent clauses: My daughter, who is 22, is getting married on Saturday. This clause gives extra information, not necessary ...