Beware the Of

Beware! Beware of the word “of.”

The fact is, you don’t need to use it as often as most people think they do. And using it when you don’t need to can hamper the flow of your sentence. For example, “She walked down the steps of the porch.” Doesn’t this sound better when written as, “She walked down the porch steps.” Small change, but tighter, less passive, and better paced.

“Off” rarely needs the “of” that it’s given too. Again, the ubiquitous porch… “She stepped off of the porch” versus “She stepped off the porch.” Tiny change, but it makes a difference, doesn’t it?

An Editor’s Two Cents (Quirks!)
October 1, 2019 LKJ Leave a comment
Every editor has quirks, just like every author. Some changes may seem odd to you. Or you may be uncertain why the change was made.

I prefer to turn “OK” into “okay,” or “goodbye” into “good-bye.” These are all accurate, but this is my idiosyncrasy. I think it reads better. I think it looks better. And visual aesthetic, even when it comes to grammar and formatting, is important too.

So remember when you’re working with an editor that we all have these quirks. Not every change is a “quirk,” of course, but it’s something we all have! And if you’re wondering about a change, it may be something to keep in mind.