Posted by: Jack Henry | June 2, 2016

Editor’s Corner: It

Today I’m going to talk about it, and no, I’m not referring to the Steven King novel that gave me nightmares. I’m talking about the pronoun it. Actually, it can be a bit of a nightmare trying to figure out which noun the pronoun it is referring to in a sentence that contains multiple nouns.

These examples are from an article called Do Your Readers a Favor: Cut ‘It’ Out, by Grammar Girl.

· When we updated that feature in the app, we messed it up. (Did we mess up the feature or the app?)

· Take the gyroscope out of the device, and fix it. (Do I fix the gyroscope or the device?)

· For anyone who has used this CMS, it’s obvious that it’s not easy to learn. (The first it is an expletive—a filler word, and the second it is the pronoun for CMS.)

· Although the company made a profit, it made poor use of it. (You can figure this one out, but you probably had to think about it.)

Although you may know which noun your pronoun is referring to, it may not be clear to your reader and could cause confusion.

The next time you use it as a pronoun, make sure the reference to the noun is clear, or this clown will get you!

Jackie Solano | Technical Editor | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.542.6711 | Extension: 766711

Symitar Documentation Services

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: