Foodlovers Foodtalk Forum

Unnecessary Thats

Posted by J1 
J1
Unnecessary Thats
October 06, 2017 04:16PM
When you first notice unnecessary thats, they quickly multiply until you're finding them all over the place. Now, whenever I come across them while reading something, my mind does a little halt, shiver and then jumps over the that, reading the sentence without it. Good editors know about unnecessary thats and edit them out prior to publication. Yay! Awhile ago I read a book so full of unnecessary thats, I think it would have halved in length if they'd been removed. I don't have it anymore to give you an example from, but I just read the following passage in my current book, so here it is as a mild example:

You can almost hear the loudspeakers, the voices exhorting the proletariat to strive ever further, so that the goals of the Five-Year Plan are attained. You can imagine little children, all wearing red handkerchiefs around their necks, learning to despise imperialist dogs and debauched class enemies. This is what happens when you live in a place far, far away, thousands of miles from a continent. Nothing ever changes on an island, and you assume that the continental world, too, has resolved to cease spinning. But it hasn't, of course, and one day you discover that you're sharing an odd, faraway island with a businessman from China.
Re: Unnecessary Thats
October 06, 2017 04:57PM
I agree that sometime "that" is unnecessary, but it is often useful for placement of the object, and its omission can interrupt the flow of a sentence while the reader pauses briefly to work out what is intended. Here's a short and entertaining piece that discusses the issue.

[articles.chicagotribune.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/06/2017 04:58PM by TPANDAV.
Re: Unnecessary Thats
October 06, 2017 08:31PM
I will have to confess that I am a 'that' culprit.

I use it even when it is 'unnecessary' i.e. leaving it out would not change the meaning or flow of the sentence, as it is grammatically correct. It is an example of the language evolving to the point where common usage often differs from the technically correct version. That said I have never thought of the inclusion of 'that' in the context that you describe J1 being a source of annoyance to a reader.

I get really annoyed by the unnecessary inclusion of the word 'what' in a sentence e.g. "The weather forecast for the weekend is better than what I expected". There is never a reason to include the word 'what' in that context, as it's just plain incorrect.

Regards,

Barbara Anne



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 10/06/2017 08:43PM by Barbara Anne.
Re: Unnecessary Thats
October 06, 2017 08:45PM
Barbara Anne Wrote:

> I get really annoyed by the unnecessary inclusion
> of the word 'what' in a sentence e.g. "The weather
> forecast for the weekend is better than what I
> expected". There is never a reason to include the
> word 'what' in that context, as it's just plain
> incorrect.
>
> Regards,
>
> Barbara Anne

Agreed! That usage always makes me think that the writer is badly educated.
Re: Unnecessary Thats
October 06, 2017 11:04PM
I don't think THAT I could ever read a book if I was so nit picky about this and thats or whats even, come to THAT. Having (Ohhh oh..THATs another baddy) gone to nineteen different schools before the age of seventeen it's a puzzle THAT I learnt anythink much less how to string a sentence together THAT wouldn't get up the nose of my dearest readers, THAT doesn't number a lot or many to be fair. It's true THAT I am my own favourite reader of my very own tripe, so I forgive all of you THAT flick through this masterly peace or piece and feel a tremendis dezyre two eskape two cast yourself or yourselfs before Facebook or Tinder or one of those other social media eskapizims THAT are important now for human survivle.

Nope, WHAT I hate the most is inferiour spelling, now THAT gets my giddy goat. Thank you and goodnight or afternoon or evening morning. I am retiring gracelessly before sumbody picks up a boot and throws it at THAT screen in front of youse.confused smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/06/2017 11:04PM by Kone.
Re: Unnecessary Thats
October 06, 2017 11:16PM
ROFL Kone! Bad spelling and apostrophes sprinkled like confetti through text get my 'giddy goat'.
Re: Unnecessary Thats
October 07, 2017 03:17PM
I don't like any of them things that are mentioned above! winking smiley
Re: Unnecessary Thats
October 07, 2017 04:50PM
That's that then! I have to watch my that's from now on.
I am sure I am been guilty of literacy indiscretions and I had a good laugh at the postings, I love playing with words but having had adult students who struggle/d with the most basic literacy skills, I understand the need for early grounding with basics.
I take my hat off to those teachers at primary level who manage to give that grounding.
Re: Unnecessary Thats
October 14, 2017 12:03AM
Oh my goodness, I am now going to notice every "that" that I read. smiling smiley
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

Copyright Foodlovers. All rights reserved.