EDIT ME–That’s Da Bomb

quote mark

Today’s EDIT ME Tuesday is all about an overused word we love to overuse. It’s four little letters. Noooo, it’s not one of THOSE words!

I told my friend that we were having the chili cook-off this weekend.

My friend replied that she was not coming and eating any skanky chili that I made.

I think that I might punch her in the throat for saying that.

See any commonly used words in these sentences? Yeah, I’m still dwelling on how any chili can be skanky too, but let’s move past it, friends.


“That” is a bridge word commonly seen after verbs such as think, say, hear, or believe, etc. Here are a few examples:

The fire department claimed that the fire was not due to an explosion.

Medicine men acknowledge that the spirituality of a person is important to overall health.

Now read both of those sentences without the word THAT.

The fire department claimed the fire was not due to an explosion.

Medicine men acknowledge the spirituality of a person is important to overall health. (I have no idea if this is true, BTW. I made it up)

While editing, I see a lot of authors overuse THAT. My editors even ping me on it, and I’m aware of THAT while writing.

Here’s a final tip:

If you read it aloud and it works without THAT, eliminate it. It’s fluffy filler you do not need weighting your writing. Now what do you think of THAT?

Thanks for stopping by!


5 comments on “EDIT ME–That’s Da Bomb

  1. Ah! My biggest pet peeve!!

  2. My first publisher encouraged me to rid my work of the word “that”. I found I’d used it over 600 times and whittled it down to 29. Then the publisher went in and had me add back nearly all of them, LOL!

  3. There are two things that (hehe) can change how your writing sounds – removing “that” when possible and changing “it” to whatever “it” may be (again, when possible). Just those two tricks do wonders…

  4. “Had” is a my pet peeve – but I did a quick review of a WIP and found “he”, “she” and variants of those in the hundreds with the characters names in the LOW 2 digits – wow
    When done(ish) with a story, I do a specific word count by going to the “find” or “replace” (you’ll end up with the replace option since that’s really whatcha wanna use) button. Put in the word (ie: that) in for the one you want to find and the one you want to replace and select “whole words” – that will show you how many times a specific word is used – just arrow back the changes because, if that word was the first in a sentence, you might have just changed it to lower case 😉

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