Wikinews:Water cooler/assistance/archives/2022/January

English tutoring

I have a problem with conforming to a de facto stylistic rule here which is: avoid adding 'that' and 'the' to sentences. My problem comes from that sentences I make have to make sense to me both in my mother tongue and English, and I have just a vague concept to rely on when it is safe to cut these words. I have no idea how leaving them out would influence the perception of a text... would such sentences sound natural still, if I cut those out of them?

It would be nice if you could copy/paste or give a few examples here, and explain them a bit. By explanation I mean: what is the difference between the original form (containing 'that' and 'the') and the improved form? Is there even a subtle difference in meaning? When it is NOT okay to cut them?

A penny for your thoughts. - Xbspiro (talk) 11:47, 25 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Many sentences will sound wrong and unnecessarily clipped if you remove all "the"s and "that"s. This kind of writing comes from a time when newspapers where published on paper, so every square millimeter was crucial and cost money as well as broadcasting, where you had finite time, so if you could cut out a word and still be intelligible, that was important. Those concerns are irrelevant for digital media, so I'd recommend writing in a way that makes normal grammatical sense in English and if we really need to remove the occasional word, that can be done. —Justin (koavf)TCM 18:32, 25 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Category:North America no longer updating

The newest stories in Category:North America, which is linked from the front page, are from 2011. There are much more recent updates in Category:Canada, Category:United States, and less frequent updates in other categories. Does someone just need to move all the North America articles to the appropriate subcategories and drop the North America story listing? I hardly ever edit here, so I'm hoping a bot will be able to do this? -- Beland (talk) 02:57, 26 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@Beland: This will do it, I guess. - Xbspiro (talk) 04:51, 26 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
It was vandalism as it turned out. - Xbspiro (talk) 04:53, 26 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Xbspiro: Oh, even better. Thanks for the fix! -- Beland (talk) 04:59, 26 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]