And that’s about that!

December 19, 2005 | It's All About Writing

As promised I’ll explain the That Whores, Jenna Howard and Sherrill Quinn. Check out their sites on the links page. These two fine authors have just come out of the closet admitting a that lust. I’m proud of you little Vixens. It took incredible inner strength to admit you have a problem. Now quit using it improperly before I beat the hell out of you both with the 2×4.

See the title of this blog? That’s the correct usage of the word. That is defined as the one mentioned, indicated, or understood. So if you write;

There was an important English test in Johnny’s class yesterday. The one boy that sweated over that test was really stupid.

You’ve almost got it but the sentence should read;

There was an important English test in Johnny’s class yesterday. The one boy who sweated over that test was really stupid.

That refers to a specific test therefore it is correct grammar.

Another incorrect example is;

He glanced up and saw that mounting passion had tinged her cheeks.

It should read;

He glanced up and saw mounting passion had tinged her cheeks.

Yes, I know there’s an ‘ing’ word but sometimes they are necessary.

That can also refer to people replacing who and whom. You should only use that in this manner if your characters are talking, as in the example below.

“The man that saw you is kind of cute,” she said with a wink.

We could go on forever with examples but you have the idea and it’s time to shrink your manuscript even more. You get to use a new highlighter color! Aren’t you excited?

Go through your mss and mark all the that‘s.
Re-read each sentence aloud omitting that. You’ll be surprised how much better the sentence will sound.

It’s very important you break yourself of the that habit. It shows a lack of professional writing skill and English grammar. Editors don’t like writers who are lacking.


Add A Comment

8 Responses to “And that’s about that!”

  1. Sherrill Quinn Says:

    Ouch. Okay, put down the 2×4, Sloane. Ouch. I got it already.

    The problem is, sometimes, to my ears, it just doesn’t sound right without a ‘that’. In the last manuscript I wrote (in the editing-just-before-submitting phase) I have 55 that’s. In the first 20 pages.


    My name is Sherrill Quinn, and I’m a that whore.

  2. Jenna Howard Says:


    That was mean.

    That hurt.

    That was just that freakin’ painful to read about that.

    This “That” Whore is very sad now. Just give a minute to recover from that grammar beating.

    That just sucked but that was also very enlightening. So this “That” Whore thanks you.

  3. Sloane Says:

    God, I love you two.



    Necessary for others maintaining sanity?

    Hell ya!

  4. For The Trees Says:

    Wowsers, Sloane. That was a real lesson on the use of that grammatical term. My deepest thats to you for that.

    Actually I’m printing this post out and putting it up on my new bulletin board beside my desk. That way I’ll be able to see it often, and get the lesson embedded in my brain. I need all these writing lessons I can get.

    And that is one of them.

    Thanks again.

  5. Sloane Says:

    That, readers, shows you that three smart asses are necessary so that you laugh and enjoy life. That’s all I have to say about that you maniacs.

  6. Yasmine Says:

    Yes, the ‘that’ word. I tingle every time I hear it or see it written. Tingle, not in a good way. When using word, and you do the search and find, it’s really scary when you see 100+ that’s used. I did it and replaced it with F**ck that, as Sloane suggested. Then reread the entire manuscript and took F**ck that out. Really makes you pay attention to what you’ve written, cause you sure don’t want to submit your book with F**ck that in it.

  7. Jenna Howard Says:

    Oh my god, Yasmine! F*** THAT is so funny f*** THAT I almost peed my pants and F*** THAT would have been a tragedy.

    I now wanna be a
    F*** That Whore.

  8. Sloane Says:

    As you can see, insanity runs rampant when authors set their minds to it.