"Which" hunting

CommonMan

New Member
English, U.S.A.
An old friend of mine used to talk about reviewing his articles and doing a "which" hunt. I asked him what he meant and I think he said he would look for improper use of "which."

For example:For the project involving the criminal investigation I am working with a number of different law enforcement agencies in the analysis and preparation of data WHICH will be reviewed by a grand jury.

Or, should it be...

For the project involving the criminal investigation I am working with a number of different law enforcement agencies in the analysis and preparation of data THAT will be reviewed by a grand jury.

Also, I'm wondering if grand jury should be capitalized or if it's even being used properly.

If anyone can explain "which" hunting, I will be most grateful.

 
  • paperclip013

    Member
    Bulgarian, Bulgaria
    Hello,

    Your friend had got it wrong.

    The expression is "witch hunting." It is a direct reference to the trials in the Middle Ages of alleged witches, who were most often either burned at the stake or excommunicated...or both. The implication is that a large group of society is unfairly biased against and/or actively persecuting a minority group.

    "Which" is a pronoun and an adjective. It is used to refer to previously mentioned items in a sentence. For instance:

    The very same notebook, which she had left on her night stand, disappeared from her room and reappeared in his bedroom later that night.

    Which team you play is less imporant than doing your best every time you come out to play.

    When used as a pronoun, "which" is equivalent to "that" on one condition: that it refers to inanimate objects only. When referring to people, you need to use "that, who, whom."

    The horse, which he bought on Sunday, died on Monday.
    or
    The horse that he bought on Sunday died on Monday.

    BUT
    The man you saw with Mary is not her husband.
    The man that you saw with Mary is not her husband.
    The man whom you saw with Mary is not her husband.

    Suerte,
    Paperclip013
     

    GenJen54

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    paperclip013 said:
    Your friend had got it wrong.

    The expression is "witch hunting." It is a direct reference to the trials in the Middle Ages of alleged witches, who were most often either burned at the stake or excommunicated...or both. The implication is that a large group of society is unfairly biased against and/or actively persecuting a minority group.
    I hate to burst your bubble here, but "which hunting" is a simple play on words. It is not, in this case, "witch" hunting. It is actually "which hunting."

    "Which hunting" is jargon used by journalists and other writers to describe the process of hunting for "which" clauses and eliminating them from their work. Some writing styles, such as Associated Press, frown on more complicated sentence constructions, especially those like this one requiring multiple commas, which is why "which" is treated like a "witch" and deleted from existence when found in a paper.

    These styles generally prefer the relative pronoun that to introduce a new clause since "that" does not necessitate the use of a comma, which "which" does.
     
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