Monday, May 31, 2010

This, that and the other

Writing tip of the day: Eliminate "that" from your writing

I'm not going to act as though I'm some great writer who has all (or any) of the answers to good writing. As a reporter/editor for a community paper, however, I can say one of the things I see all the time: In blogs, newspapers, e-mails, etc. I see the word "that" used unnecessarily. This post may seem completely off topic, but since my blog is (generally) about getting rid of unnecessary things, it's actually somewhat on topic.

Here are a couple examples I found just today:

Finally, and most important of all, Louise shared an exercise that she's done for years to build a stronger relationship with herself.

Same sentence without "that" ...

Finally, and most important of all, Louise shared an exercise she's done for years to build a stronger relationship with herself.

Another:
You gain a sense of power — you no longer feel that money controls you, but that you control money.

You gain a sense of power — you no longer feel money controls you, but you control money.

THAT being said, sometimes "that" is necessary, so don't delete them all. Read the sentence and see if it makes sense without it. If it does, delete.

1 comment:

Bren said...

That is a good idea.
:)