On "That"

On "That"

If the people who wrote most of the content on the web today went back and read what they committed to paper, they would die of embarrassment.

When I take on an editorial management project (like the one I'm currently working with), my goal is to help writers improve to improve the overall quality of the website. Readers tend not to bother with crap content.

So I ask everyone to read over and remove "that."

All of them. Every one. I encourage you to do the same with whatever it is you write next: a blog, an email, a text.

Remove “that.”

Either delete it (the case for about 90% of them) or do some light rewriting of the sentence.

The writing improves 100% of the time. A joy to read! It’s amazing how the eyes roll down the page when it doesn’t need to trip over a hundred “thats.”

I always get pushback. After all, if there isn’t anything wrong with the grammar of “that” (in most cases, there isn’t), why change it?

Because style!

Developing a writing style is hard. Take a listen when someone speaks, chances are “that” shows up more as a verbal tic - as “um” or “like.”

Remove the tics and everything smooths out.

Try it. Trust me.




A Space To Argue

A Space To Argue

Good Metric, Bad Choice

Good Metric, Bad Choice

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