517 GG Why Do We Call It Commencement? When to Delete “It”

Grammar517 GG Why Do We Call It Commencement? When to Delete “It”

517 GG Why Do We Call It Commencement? When to Delete “It”

COMMENCEMENT: Last week a professor in my department asked me why we call a graduation ceremony “commencement” when the event marks the end of college. “To commence” means “to begin,” not end, so it seems like an odd name for the ceremony.

DELETE ‘IT’: Want a timeless, painless tip that quickly helps you clarify your writing? Look for it. What William Cobbett said two centuries ago still rings true: “The word it is the greatest troubler that I know of in language. It is so small, and so convenient, that few are careful enough in using it.”

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