1. Maxitoutwriter

    Maxitoutwriter Member

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    What is another word for thing?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Maxitoutwriter, Sep 9, 2012.

    I find it so irritating when I run into the word thing, and I cannot think of a better word to use. Any ideas?

    I'm fine if I run into a sentence where I can use object instead. However, in this context I am always baffled about a better word to use. I can't think of any. :confused:

    Example of what I'm talking about:

    "Another thing that I have noticed is that..."
     
  2. Pheonix

    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    Hmmm, I'm run into that problem too.

    What about, "Something else i've noticed is that..." or "I've also noticed...", "I've been noticing..."

    Sometimes, you can't just find a better word, but you can change the structure up to eliminate the need for the word thing.
     
  3. Warp Zone

    Warp Zone New Member

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    I can't think of a better word either. Try rephrasing the sentence instead. Like:

    "Another thing I have noticed" becomes "I have also noticed"
     
  4. lixAxil

    lixAxil Self-Proclaimed Senator of the RPG subforum. Contributor

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    Well no proper words, but according to context...

    Stuff
    Matter
    Subject
     
  5. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I think that you should be able to eliminate most or all of that phrase. For example:

    "Another thing that I have noticed is that the back steps are dirty and poorly maintained."

    could, as suggested above, become:

    "Also, I've noticed that the back steps are dirty and poorly maintained."

    Or

    "Also, the back steps are dirty and poorly maintained."

    Or just

    "The back steps are dirty and poorly maintained."

    I realize that this is a very specific example for a more general question, but a nonspecific word like "thing" is often used in phrases that shoud be cut out. (As an example of cutting unneeded words, the above sentence started out as something like, "...but in my experience, it's often true that a nonspecific word like 'thing' is used in phrases that, on reflection, can simply be cut away..." Most of those words were cut as useless fat.)
     
  6. Maxitoutwriter

    Maxitoutwriter Member

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    Thanks guys. Good advice. :)
     
  7. eclipsenow

    eclipsenow New Member

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    I like the word thing. It first really came to my attention in West Wing when Joshua had post-traumatic stress disorder and had cut his hand. The Chief of Staff said to Joshua, "You could have an infection, you could have a thing..." It represents the way people talk. If the character you are visualising actually talks like this, it's fine. If not, then they should speak more specifically.
     
  8. B93

    B93 Active Member

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    I'm with eclipse on this. One character may talk that way as part of what makes their dialog recognizable. The narrator or multiple characters should find more direct ways to make their statements.
     
  9. digitig

    digitig Contributor Contributor

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    Just use "thing" as much as you like. Then, when you are editing, strike out every phrase in which it occurs, and see if the text works better without it. For example, unless you want to make it a specific quirk of one character that they keep saying it, I bet you could strike out every instance of "Another thing that I have noticed is that...".
     

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