Category Archives: wysiwyg clauses

Day 23 NaNoWRiMO ‘W For Wysiwyg clauses

Day 23 wysiwyg clauses, dependent clauses as nominal

What caught my attention was the odd acronym.


“Usually terse, aphoristic, pointed, occurring singly or in pairs or larger groups, wysiwyg (wiz e wig) clauses can be serious, informational, playful, humorous.”~ Virginia Tufte, Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style. Page 146-147

What? Wysiwyg!

An opening clause serves as subject of the sentence and the second clause as predicate nominative:

What you see is what you get.

Did you get it in turn did you see it?









I wondered where  the acronym  came from. You know the ‘W’  wysiwyg, the subject of todays post.


In the 1970’s it became known as WYSIWYG a computer editor, a program created by Charles Simonyi and Butler Lampson in 1974


“What’s mine is yours, and what is yours is mine.” ~Measure for Measure  by William Shakespeare

Before that is was a newsletter, published by Arlene and Jose Ramos.

I am referring to the wysiwyg that Virginia Tufte spoke of in her book, Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style. Page 146-153.

“Although most of the grammatical terms used in this book are traditional, you will not find wysiwyg in syntactic glossaries. But such clauses have existed for along time, usually under the label “noun clauses” or “nominal clauses,”…”

Let me try to explain this as well as I can.

Every clause has a subject and a verb.

A dependent clause has a subject and a verb, but is not a complete thought and cannot stand alone as a sentence. Dependent clause can take the place of nouns, as subjects, predicate nominatives, or objects.


A nominal clause is also a noun clause.

Predicate nominative or a predicate noun completes a linking verbs-helping verbs: is, an, are, was, were, be, being, and been; sense verbs, look, taste, smell, feel, and sound, other verbs: become, seem, appear, grow, continue, stay and turn.

Here are some great sites to improve your sentences: