That which does not kill me…

I try to eliminate the word “that” from my writing whenever possible. It’s turned into an obsession, really; “that” rarely survives the second draft of a story, if I can help it. It certainly has its uses, that you can count on (see?). But it sticks out like a sore thumb to me, the equivalent of someone using “and then and then and then” instead of commas or “I will be going / it will be starting / we will be walking” instead of “I’m going / it starts / we walk.” The word feels superfluous to me most of the time, and I find sentences typically do well enough without it. I find so many people overuse it; not in good prose so much as conversation and basic writing (essays, the interweb, etc.). Any thoughts on this? Is it overused? Is it superfluous? Is it just me?

Imagine my surprise to read an informative debate on “That vs. Which” over at World Wide Words. Now I’m left wondering if I’m overusing “which” and if I’m even using it correctly.

-nm

[tags]that vs. which, writing[/tags]

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