Tuesday’s Tutor: Four First Steps in Editing – How do YOU play favorites?

EASY AS A, B, C . . . from BB

Faves, as I call them, are your favorite words which you use over and over. We all have them.  The example last time of “that” is a frequent fave for many of us. Other favorites may be more specific to you, but some common ones are so, if, it, and, then, there. I have a peculiar pattern: since I’m aware of some of the common ones, I try to avoid them—but I’m a lover of words. I’ll find an interesting, fun word like rackabones.  I like it so much I end up using it three or four times— perhaps in two paragraphs or so.

The old rackabones drew his cloak around himself with a surprising show of dignity, even elegance.  “May I help you, Sir?” the skinny rackabones asked, doffing a tall, grease-stained, pointy hat which only an old rackabones could love.

Where would a creature like this man find such a skinny, peaked… “Wait a minute!” I cried.  “How did you come by that hat?  I’ve seen it before…”

“My good Sir, as we have never met, I doubt…”

“…on Merlin’s head!”

He swiftly turned on his heel and fled, while I ran shouting after him: ‘What have you done with Merlin, you thieving rackabones?!’”

Overkill. What are your favorites? Start noticing. Keep track of your faves. You’ll begin to realize which words you overuse. Even when they’re interesting choices, one or two instances go a long way.

In the Feb. 5th “Tuesday’s Tutor, I’ll talk about how to strengthen your Weak Subject/Verb Combos

BIO: Brenda Bensch, M.A., is a teacher of many years’ experience, a writer, and a freelance editor.  After multiple decades teaching in Utah’s university, college, high school and community ed. classrooms (English, fiction and non-fiction writing, reading, study skills, drama, humanities, debate, math, and others), she invites you to “Ask The Teacher” at  http://BenschWensch.wordpress.com

See you day-after-tomorrow for Thursday’s 13


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