A Few Little Things

Y’all get three mini-tips for the price of one today.

1)      I prefer X ___ Y
I’ve seen several prepositions used to fill in this blank, including “than” and “over.” The correct preposition is “to.”
Example:  I prefer chocolate to vanilla.
You can use “rather than” if the resulting sentence has too many “to” words in it, such as when comparing infinitives.
Example: I prefer to stand on the escalator rather than to climb.
(Sounds much better than: I prefer to stand on the escalator to to climb.

2)      Inclusive of….
Inclusive means that something includes the endpoints or something extra.
Example: The Teen Dance is open to ages 13 to 18, inclusive.
Example: The certified, pre-owned Lexus cost less than $40,000, inclusive of tax, title, and license.
In most cases, you can just use the word “including” after a comma and space.
Example: Make sure you put all the parts, including the O-rings, in the plastic bag for shipping.
“Inclusive of the O-rings” sounds much more stilted than “including.”
KISS = Keep It Short and Simple.

3)      The Slash, Revisited
In most cases, the slash means “either/or” or “and/or”; rarely does it mean “both.”
Bad Example: Make sure you have the dimensions/tolerances from the manufacturer.
Certainly you want to have both the dimensions and the tolerances, not just one or the other.
If you want both, ask for both. Make it a compound object: change the slash to “and.”
Corrected Example: Make sure you have the dimensions and tolerances from the manufacturer.

And A Two-Fer Quote of the Day:

“Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.”
– Thomas Jefferson, American President and founding father, 1743-1826

“As far as I’m concerned, I prefer silent vice to ostentatious virtue.”
– Albert Einstein, German physicist, 1879-1955


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