A case for using the conjunction
Two stories today remind us that conjunctions, including the conjunctive that, are not always bad things to be excised from copy.
From an AP story on the House's failure to overide Bush's veto of stem cell legislation:
Supporters said the bill would have allowed research on embryos conceived during a fertilization process that would otherwise have been discarded.Sure, the reader probably will untangle that, but how much clearer and quicker to read would it be had the conjunction been included:
Supporters said the bill would have allowed research on embryos conceived during a fertilization process and that would otherwise have been discarded.
Our second exhibit comes from a local paper's story about MySpace:
The problem with "warn" and "caution" is that they can be both transitive, taking an object (she warned him) and intransitive, with an indirect object (she warned (me) he would be there). Because we tend to drop the pronoun in that second construction, the conjunctive that can make things a whole lot clearer:
She showed me a calendar that lets users keep track of their day. But she cautioned any MySpace member can view it.
She showed me a calendar that lets users keep track of their day. But she cautioned that any MySpace member can view it.
Conjuctions - good and good for you.