Monday, March 10, 2014

Writing Tips for microISVs -
"that" versus "which"

You can sell more software if you write well. People will be turned off if they see errors in grammar, syntax, agreement, or usage on your website. Here are some tips and tricks for deciding whether to use "that" or "which" in your sales presentations.

Only one of these descriptions about your new game software is correct -

  • The Mega-Shields, that are only available in the Pro version, will protect you from enemy phaser fire.
  • The Mega-Shields, which are only available in the Pro version, will protect you from enemy phaser fire.

Similarly, only one of these descriptions about your image manipulation application is correct -

  • The feature that users find most exciting is our new gamma-correction slider bar.
  • The feature which users find most exciting is our new gamma-correction slider bar.

It's not necessary to understand the differences between the defining or restrictive pronoun (that) and the nondefining or nonrestrictive pronoun (which). The explanation is painfully boring.

Here's how you can tell which word is the right one: Simply say the sentence aloud. If you pause before saying the that/which word, then use "which." If you don't pause, then use "that." And if you're writing the sentence and feel the need to pause, use "which" and set the phrase off with a pair of commas.

Here are the two correct sentences -

  • The Mega-Shields, which are only available in the Pro version, will protect you from enemy phaser fire.
  • The feature that users find most exciting is our new gamma-correction slider bar.

Just remember the image of the critter with paws wearing a witch's hat. If you have to pause, use "which."

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