Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
Business writing, CIO, grammar, open source, programming, Quiz, that
Which is correct?
Linus Torvalds _______ choosing to be an open source software engineer is a calling, rather than a career choice.
a. said that
In this sentence, that isn’t required, so it should be omitted.
From the New York Times, ‘A bit about that.’
Here’s the relevant entry in The Times’s stylebook:
that (conj.). After a verb like said, disclosed or announced, it is often possible to omit that for conciseness: He said he felt peaked. But if the words after said or any other verb can be mistaken for its direct object, the reader may be momentarily led down a false trail, and that must be retained: The mayor disclosed that her plan for the rhubarb festival would cost $3 million.
When a time element follows the verb, that is always needed to make quickly clear whether the time element applies to the material before or after it: The governor announced yesterday that he would organize a knackwurst fiesta.
Often a sentence with two parallel clauses requires the expression and that in the second part; in such a case, keep that in the first part also, for balance: The mayor said that she might run again and that if she did, her brother would be her campaign manager.
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