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Which sentence below sounds better? Is there an incorrect/correct one? Is there a difference in meaning? I tend to like the second one the most. To me, it has the same meaning as the first one but bit fancier, idk :P

  1. The NIR had just been discovered: a type of radiation undetectable by the human eye.
  2. The NIR had just been discovered, a type of radiation undetectable by the human eye.
  3. The NIR had just been discovered, which is a type of radiation undetectable by the human eye.
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    No: 1 and 2 are not relative clauses but supplementary (non-defining) appositive NPs. – BillJ Feb 11 at 16:26
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    It's usual to put a descriptive noun phrase or relative clause immediately after the noun it modifies; in practice people can usually infer the connection, but some grammarians frown upon it. e.g. "The NIR, a type of radiation undetectable by the human eye, had just been discovered." – Stuart F Feb 11 at 16:26
  • Yes; I was just about to comment on the distancing Stuart mentions. Your versions are not ungrammatical, and sometimes shunting a non-defining appositive NP / relative clause to the end of the sentence is the better option. Here, it sounds rather literary. You'd need a pair of dashes (or brackets) to adjust your first example: << (1') The NIR – a type of radiation undetectable by the human eye – had just been discovered. >> – Edwin Ashworth Feb 11 at 16:32
  • No reason for extraposition from NP here; redo from start. – John Lawler Feb 11 at 18:24
  • As an editor, I would say that all of those are incorrect. The NIR, a type of radiation undetectable by the human eye, had just been discovered. Or The NIR, which is a type of radiation undetectable by the human eye, had just been discovered. – Tinfoil Hat Feb 11 at 23:37

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