27 April 2017 - THAT vs. WHICH


G'day folks,

Here are two more of those words that often cause us grief.

To understand when to use that vs. which, it’s important to keep in mind the difference between and restrictive and non restrictive clauses. In formal American English, that is used in restrictive clauses, and which in used in non restrictive clauses.

A restrictive clause contains information that limits the meaning of the thing being talked about. For example, in the sentence “Any book that you like must be good,” the relative clause “that you like” is restrictive becau
se it identifies specifically a book that you like. Note that in restrictive clauses, sometimes that can be omitted. “Any book you like must be good” is also often used, especially in informal settings.

A non restrictive clause, on the other hand, is used to supply additional information that is not essential to understanding the main point of the sentence. Consider the example “The book, which I found at a dusty used bookstore, was a real page-turner.” The relative clause “which I found at a dusty used bookstore” is non restrictive because it adds extra information, almost like an aside. You could delete the details about the bookstore, and the sentence would still make sense. In this example, which is preceded by a comma; non restrictive clauses tend to follow punctuation like a comma, a dash, or parenthesis. Which is only used in restrictive clauses if it’s preceded by a preposition.

Luckily there’s an easy way to remember whether to use that or which. If the relative clause contains information that is not essential to the meaning of the sentence, and is also preceded by a comma, a dash, or parenthesis, it’s probably non restrictive, so use which. If not, odds are it’s restrictive, so use that.

However, the above distinction is a rule of formal American English, and is not as strictly observed in British English or in informal English of any type.

Clancy's comment:   Mm ... American English?

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G'day folks,

I bet you have always wondered about this. 

The initials synonymous with the Republican Party—“GOP”—stand for “grand old party.” As early as the 1870s, politicians and newspapers began to refer to the Republican Party as both the “grand old party” and the “gallant old party” to emphasize its role in preserving the Union during the Civil War. 

The Republican Party of Minnesota, for instance, adopted a platform in 1874 that it said “guarantees that the grand old party that saved the country is still true to the principles that gave it birth.” In spite of its nickname, though, the “grand old party” was only a mere teenager in the early 1870s since the Republican Party had been formed in 1854 by former Whig Party members to oppose the expansion of slavery into western territories. 

The “grand old party” moniker was actually first adopted by the Republicans’ elder rival—the Democratic Party—which traced its roots back to Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. In his 1859 inaugural address, Kentucky’s Democratic Governor Beriah Magoffin proclaimed, “The grand old party has never changed its name, its purposes, or its principles, nor has it ever broken its pledges.” The following year a Democratic newspaper in New Haven, Connecticut, looked ahead to the presidential election of 1860 and warned that “this grand old party is divided and in danger of defeat.”

“Safire’s Political Dictionary” reports that the Republican’s GOP acronym began to appear in print in 1884. Newspapers in 1936 credited T.B. Dowden, a Cincinnati Gazette typesetter, with coining the initials after receiving a story about 1884 Republican presidential nominee James Blaine shortly before press time that ran too long. “My copy ends with ‘Grand Old Party,’ and I have two words left over after I’ve set the 10 lines. What shall I do?” Dowden asked his foreman. “Abbreviate ’em, use initials, do anything, but hurry up!” came the reply. In a rush, Dowden shortened the name of Blaine’s planned speech from “Achievements of the Grand Old Party” to “Achievements of the GOP.”

Clancy's comment: But, do they use an elephant as part of their symbol? Apparently so, but why? Well, they say that cartoonist Thomas Nast used the Democratic donkey in newspaper cartoons and made the symbol famous. Nast invented another famous symbol—the Republican elephant. In a cartoon that appeared in Harper's Weekly in 1874, Nast drew a donkey clothed in lion's skin, scaring away all the animals at the zoo. Mm ...
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25 April 2017 - MOVING PICTURES


G'day folks,

Welcome to some more moving pictures to get you cranked up for the day.

Clancy's comment: There are some top ones here. Love the crazy dog with the mail. 

Today is Anzac Day in Australia. Here are a few shots of our very wet Dawn Service in Cobram early this morning. Lest we forget.

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