The That Syndrome – 3

Journalists and authors seem to love the word “that”. My record breaking pick of the week comes from news a article quoting “a source familiar with some of the administration’s internal deliberations”. Please ignore any political overtones here. This is not a political post. It is about the Six Thats in,

“I think that there’s a good argument to be made that even though the president may lose in litigation at the end of the day, going through that process ultimately makes it clear that it’s the chief justice, and not the Executive Branch, that bears responsibility for that unfortunate outcome.”

Here is a possible rewrite…

“I think there’s a good argument to be made even though the president may lose in litigation at the end of the day. Going through the process ultimately makes it clear it’s the chief justice, not the Executive Branch, which bears responsibility for the unfortunate outcome.”

Both versions are ok, but the re-do reads more smoothly to me. The word that does have a place but it is limited. I catch myself throwing some unnecessary thats into my writing but try to catch them upon editing. So, that is it!