Behind the Style

It is . . . that; or, How Not to Edit Jane Austen

The formula it is . . . that is one of the most common rhetorical tics in academic writing. This formula also provides a great opportunity to edit for concision, since it can usually be removed easily from a sentence without changing the meaning . . .

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Former and Latter

There are many stylistic sins worse than using former and latter. But if you’ve ever had to stop and reread a sentence or passage to figure out what former and latter point back to, you know why it’s best to avoid them . . .

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Liberate Those Verbs!

Some phrases in English lengthen a sentence while adding nothing to its meaning . . .

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