2.22.2011

That's That

that's that

In this edition of Amy Mac’s Wonderful World of Writing Well, let’s cover an easy way to trim unnecessary fat from your writing.

Amy Mac’s Wonderful World of Writing Well Rule # 3:

Eliminate the word “that” wherever possible.

When I’m editing a document, one of the first things I do is eliminate the word “that” wherever possible. How do you know if you need the word that (or not)? Try reading the sentence without the "that.” If it makes sense without, drop it.

An example:

The teacher was making sure that the students understood that it was against the rules to talk during the assembly.

Now, try again leaving out the “thats.”

The teacher was making sure the students understood it was against the rules to talk during the assembly.

The meaning doesn’t change when we eliminate “that,” so we’ll leave it out.

Don’t you just love it when you trim a little fat without increasing your cardio? Me, too.


1 comment:

Amy Blair said...

That's brilliant! : D