De-That Your Web Content Writing

Years ago, when I was writing magazine articles the editors would often send a style guide for their publications.

One of the guides suggested to “de-that” your article before submitting. It basically stated: Unless the sentence is rendered meaningless without “that” delete it.

Edit Web Copy for Thats

For many years, I included that style point in my own copy editing checklist.

At some point I didn’t think I needed that prompt anymore, so I took it off my checklist. (What was I thinking?!)

I was reminded again of the tactic while listening to someone talk about copy editing. I decided to start checking my own work again for too many “thats.”

This is what I found on a recent tip:

Too Many Thats

After reading through the above, I eliminated two:

Thats are Better

The second excerpt reads just a little cleaner.

Easy Web Tip #258: For smoother copy on your website, remove extraneous “thats.”

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