“Just had that”
Nope, itâ€™s not an expression, itâ€™s how I remember the three words I most overuse and have to search and destroy when I finish writing.
In fact this is my fist line of revisions after I finish a story and do the initial read through for typos. I go to the Find/Replace feature in Word and start with â€œjustâ€ and work through the document starting at page one and eliminate all non essential uses of the word. Which, to be honest, is pretty much all of them.
Then I do â€œhadâ€ and then â€œthatâ€.
Most times when I use these words they are unnecessary, so why do I use them? I have no idea. But I seem to be fond of them. Itâ€™s incredible helpful to do a hunt for them, especially when Iâ€™m on a word count limit and need to cut words. I love to see my word count go down by cutting unneeded uses of these words.
In fact as an exercise I wrote this entire blog post without using the words â€œjust had thatâ€ except where they were encased in quotes. (As I read through it I ended up cutting a â€œthatâ€ and a â€œjustâ€ from this tiny little blog post how sad am I? 😉 )
I hope by eliminating these words it makes my writing tighter and flow better.
My phrase might grow with time as I learn more of my problem words and start eliminating them from my writing.
What are your problem words? What do you hunt for and eliminate from your writing?