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The Mayfield Handbook of Technical & Scientific Writing
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Usage Glossary: A B C D E F G H I K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y


The words former and latter refer to two items.

The engineer and the technician immediately began to fix the mechanism, the former checking the valve readings while the latter began opening the housing.

These terms require the reader to identify what they refer to, however, and thus should be used with care. If in doubt, revise to name the items referred to.

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