Saturday, August 05, 2006

That That (the sequel)

Seized in place, do I continue to read or gently close the book, take aim, and drive it into my green wall? Of course, I’ll continue reading, being a meek and mild librarian.

Stepping upon the soapbox—I say that that ‘that’ that that author used is wrong. What?

Another author paid to write “that that” in a sentence that needs only one. Which sentence would that be? The Weather Makers author, Tim Flannery writes, “I’m far from certain that that is true, and I’m not sure it is even relevant.” p7

Why is it that that bothers me? Well, it’s a typo that people feel might actually be right. Believe me, one will not change the meaning of the sentence by omitting an extra that.

I see these double words frequently when reading. Lots of “the the” and “and and” have me scratching my head. My Microsoft word catches these with red underscores but ignores double thats. Why is that that way?

I know that this is all irrelevant. Editors are missing the obvious “the the” combos, don’t criticize “that that,” which might be right. Here is my tiff, Flannery is wordy, and his subject at times confusing. An editor needs to weed out extra wordage to aid the reader’s time management. Took me a nanosecond to digest the “that that” but a good 30 minutes to get over it!

Sighing as I step off the soapbox.