Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Down on That

I’m on a personal crusade against “That”.

I say...“Down with “That”.

Well, I don’t really say that very often...if at all.

But I’m saying it now

“Down with “That”.

And you can tell that I’m saying it and that I mean business because I’m using quotations.

And...I just used “That”...again...twice.

I use it a lot...that is.

That this, that that...that everything else.

You probably do too...use that...that is.

I do it without even knowing that I do....damn!

I noticed it when I went back and re-edited some of my old manuscripts...I use “that”...way more than that deserves to be employed.

In fact, in most cases, “that” isn’t necessary at all.

Unless it has its noun suit on.

Then “that” is okay.

That deserves a seat at the table.

Actually, the proper term is probably pronoun suit...but it didn’t sound quite as catchy.

Which is a whole other kettle of fish.

Which, technically, I shouldn’t be using to start a sentence, either.

Which...that is.

But, on a whole...and sometimes a half...I’ve pretty much disregarded the rules of grammar, ever since I stopped being tested on them.

As you can plainly see.

I pretty much write by ear...which looks weird, as well.

Plus I miss a lot of conversations.

Point being...I write the way I hear people talk...and, conversely, the way I talk.

So I guess I say “that”...a lot.

But now I see there’s really no reason for “that”.

Most sentences are cleaner without “that”.

I don’t need to know, “He said that it was....”

The fact he said “it was”, is enough.

I know “she traveled” a hard adding “that she traveled” it, doesn’t make it any harder.

Anyway, now I’m trying to eliminate all the unnecessary “that’s”.

But I know that I won’t get them all....damn!

That is insidious that way.

Were in a rush, and that pops up.

Then we go back and we can’t help but see that.

And then that’s that....

Don’t even get me started on know....

When an em-dash would do—

Or is it en-dash—?

Who knows?

And Who’s not saying anything that we don’t already know about...this, that...or the other thing....

I use ellipses a lot too...along with that...probably to the annoyance of many—possibly you.

I guess it’s just a rhythm thing. It’s how I hear it in my head.

The pauses, the stumbles...the incorrect grammar—all for effect.

Or is it affect?

Nah...I’m pretty sure it’s effect?


In the end—which this is—it’s just about making some sort of sense out of your own gibberish.

As long I get it, I figure that you will too....



Have you picked up my new book “The Kingdom of Keys”?
No....what's up with that???

Better hurry before they're ALL GONE...which is a lie because they'll never be all gone...never....

So why not buy one just to reward my forthrightness..ness...ness?

You might even enjoy it.

And spread the word...cuz nobody else is....

Just sayin....
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  1. And while you're at it, let's eliminate all those unnecessary apostrophes and put them where they belong. I had an enjoyable afternoon re-reading Prof. Strunk's masterpiece, "Elements of Style." It's a winner!

    1. Hey, Joan. Good to hear from you! I was beginning to think you'd given up on me! I read "Loon Lake" by E.L. Doctorow, years ago. There was almost no punctuation in it at all, which was maddening but also fascinating. You had to go back and read sentences 2 or 3 times just to put them into some sort of context. So I guess we depend on all those little squiggles and dots more than we think....

    2. I will nevah give up on you! I am so entertained by your retorts - I can't wait for the next one.

  2. ellipses..... love them... and maybe you can help me with past and passed... i have issues. i even tried to look it up, no avail.... but plenty of pensiveness...

    1. Past is where you were and Passed is what Maggie Bo does after getting into the beans....

    2. when maggie walked passed my neighbor's house she passed some gas like she has done in the past.

    3. it's probably best to keep Maggie in the house.....

    4. it's probably best to keep Maggie in the house.....

    5. we are passed that point.... ;0)

  3. That was very good and the point that you make has much merit. I really enjoyed this one and glad to have read it at last. "That's the way to do it" Goes back to the 17th century as remarked by Samuel Pepys after seeing it in Covent Garden back in 1662. Thats right! I think.

  4. That's nice of you to say...that...

  5. That's nice of you to say...that...


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