This effect, my mother explained, was the result of two techniques, called "backlighting"and flash fill. " (From an ACT English test passage)

Am I right to think that it'd be better if I rewrite this sentence into "... two techniques called 'backlighting' and 'flash fill. ' " to make it kind of a restrictive relative clause decorating "techniques"? Instead of like the original sentence which uses a kind of a non-restrictive relative clause elaborating the whole sentence preceding it.

1 Answer 1


The usual rule is that a restrictive clause is not set off with a comma. That would be correct if a single technique were being mentioned:

... result of a technique called "backlighting"


... result of a technique called "flash fill".

With the two techniques grouped together, as in your sentence, the comma is needed to make it clear that each name applies to just one of the techniques.

(The word "decorating" doesn't fit; it should be "modifying".)

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