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.