Posted by: episystechpubs | October 8, 2014

Editor’s Corner: “This” is No Way to Begin Your Sentence

Hi Folks,

JHA has adopted a new editing tool, Acrolinx®, which is helping your editors ensure that all our documentation is written with one consistent voice. This tool, and the consistency it demands, fits right in with JHA’s goal to operate as One Company.

Today, I thought I’d talk about one of the issues we see quite a lot, so that you can look for it in your own writing. Acrolinx flags sentences that begin with the words this/that/these/those when these words are not followed by a noun. (Your kindly human editors would also always mark these sentences for revision, but we’re very happy to have Acrolinx back us up!).

For instance, the following sentence would be flagged: “This appears because the prompt was not set properly.”

The problem with that sentence is that the word this is not followed by a noun, which often leads to confusion. To fix the sentence, you just need to add the missing noun: “This error message appears because the prompt was not set properly.”

That’s it for today. Don’t forget to have fun!

For my baseball fans:

“You gotta have fun. Regardless of how you look at it, we’re playing a game. It’s a business, it’s our job, but I don’t think you can do well unless you’re having fun.” ~Derek Jeter

Donna Bradley Burcher | Technical Editor, Adv. | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.278.0432 | Extension: 765432

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