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Friday, June 27, 2008

Know Thyself and Thy Own Writing Idiosyncrasies

Do you know what your writing idiosyncrasies are? Do you use "just" a lot or "only" a lot. In the Frugal Editor I cite a critique friend who knows she uses "euphemistically" too often. It's hard to figure how she might do that but she knows her own writing better than anyone else. Use the find function in your Word program to search out those words and decide -- word by word -- which are unnecessary and can be deleted, which can be changed out for something more effective and which be left as is.

You'll probably notice that most of the words use overuse are adverbs. There is more on using adverbs appropriately in other posts on this blog.

Happy editing.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson edits, consults and speaks on issues of publishing. Find her book The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success at Learn more about her other authors' aids at She blogs on all things publishing (not just editing!) at

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