: stop that :

Oh, sorry, don’t stop what you’re doing. I meant the word that. Please, ignore the outburst and go on about your business; don’t mind me.

All right, since you’re here, I’ll tell you: I hate that. It’s overused and clunky. People stick a that in everything. The question is, why? It isn’t a mantra, it’s a pronoun, as well as an adjective, an adverb, a conjunction, and a blight. The annoying part is, it’s surplus, a filler word. Many believe if that can logically follow a verb, it should. But it shouldn’t.

Here, look: It’s possible that I lied. Although the usage is perfectly correct, what a flipping clanger. You can eliminate the thatIt’s possible I lied — which is not only correct, but also gracefully fluent. The sentence is positively transfor — don’t roll your eyes.

You think this is just another tirade about grammar, don’t you? Think again, smarty-pants. This is strictly a personal bias. That is one plug-ugly word, clattering and dissonant wherever it’s used. The stupid thing refuses to blend in. That, tha-a-a-t, that-that-that, sounds like honking. I don’t want to honk; who wants to honk? Celebrities and politicians spring to mind.

People who love the sound of their own voice throw thats around with reckless abandon. Listen to a celebrity interview or the Sunday morning political gabfests and you’ll be surprised how often the word pops up.

We could consult the rules regarding the proper use of that: in restrictive clauses and subordinate clauses; when it’s the subject rather than the object of a clause. When which is more appropriate than that; when who is called for, instead. Yackety-yackety-yak.

Grammarians make everything so complicated. I admire them for sticking to their guns in an ungracious world and all, but come on. Relative pronouns, subjunctive clauses? whoosh, right over my head. I operate on instinct. If it sounds okay, that’s good enough for me. Oh, crap, there it is, the dreaded that. Pretty soon I’ll be tossing around gots instead of haves.

Anyway, the point is, we can do without that a lot of the time. ¹ We don’t need to quit altogether, but let’s try cutting back. You know what else we could do without? Utilize. I’ll bitch about that nonsense another time, though.

copyright © 2017 the whirly girl

¹ We could do without reblogs, too. But I’m way, way, way behind, so here’s another oldie. Whether it’s a goodie is another subject altogether.

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5 Responses to “: stop that :”

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