... without even trying..."
Proceed to one of your longer hubs you are proud of.
Do a browser search for the word, "that".
I'm busily cleaning mine up as we speak.
And that is that.
Kind of odd. Some of my hubs had only 2 or 3 redundant "that"'s. And then there were a couple that had around 15 each. I submit there may be a correlation between frequency of redundant "that"'s and stress/fatigue. Interesting. At any rate, throwing out reduntant "that"'s really does class up a hub. I'm not kidding. Happy Days.
Totally agree. "That" is an overly overused word that is not always necessary. Try reading a sentence you have it in without it and if it reads great, then leave it out.
The word, was, is another no no. And that was that.... ouch, like fingernails on a chalk board.
Just out of curiosity I randomly went to one of my 2400-word Hubs - one "that".
Then I went to a 5400-word Hub - one "that".
The thought occurred to me to quit while I was ahead, so I did. I'm just going to assume that over-using "that" doesn't happen to be among my own "collection" of "writing misdeeds". (Actually, I've been making it a point, in more recent stuff, to use "that" more often. Some sentences just kind of look "too abrupt" (or something) without it. Maybe my "one-'that'-in-thousands-of-words" is actually a sign that I have, in fact, not been using the word often enough. )
One thing I may check my own stuff for, though, is "of course". I battle with "of course" all the while I'm writing. A spin-off "exercise" for this thread might be for each writer to check for the words/phrases that he knows tend to be his own "demons". (I just chose to use "that" just then because it seemed more right ). (I also struggle with "in any case" and "in any event".)
Suddenly I have a Hall & Oates song going through my head:
"I can't go for THAT... whoa, nooo... no can do
No, I can't go for THAT..."
"AS". If any of you write fiction, see how many times you write that word. The other one is "while"...... as he wiped a tear from his sun dried cheek.
I must be missing something, or else it does not work for Firefox
I pulled up a hub, put "that" in the browser search - bingo! serps for "that." wiki, dicts, etc.
Instead of counting the "that"s...just read your hub and see how it flows! Some words - that, the, a, is, was, and, it - turn up time and time again, but that doesn't mean that they're "bad". They're building blocks of language. So long as a word isn't jarring in how often it's repeated, then I say don't worry about it!
It's like fiction writers who feel the need to replace "said" and "say" with other verbs. No. Just...don't.
In fairness to all "that" over-users, though...
Isn't there a difference between American and UK English when it comes to using "that"? I was under the impression THAT (;rolleyes:) aiming to eliminate "that" is mostly an American thing. I imagine someone else can clarify if there's such a difference between (at least) the two different countries.
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