Like most people, I have favorite turns of phrase upon which I rely. My speech, my correspondence and likely my posts are littered with “it’s worth noting,” “for better and for worse,” and “any number of…” I overuse the words lovely, tricky, interestingly, chthonic (kidding about that last one.) At long last, however, I can monitor and control these verbal tics. With the help of the word frequency counter recently featured in Galleycat, I can see just how prodigal I am with my “althoughs” and “indeeds.” Try it.
Much as I like this program, it strikes me that kids are almost as good at pointing up speech patterns. My almost five-year-old prefaces much of what he says with an eerily familiar “actually…,” He expresses his skepticism for my latest suggestion with “I’m not so sure about that,” and less charmingly, appends a peremptory “Yes or no?” to many of his questions in a harried mom tone of voice that sounds an awful lot like my own.
What words and phrases do you tend to repeat? If you ran the search on one of your own pieces, were there any that surprised you? Do you ever use the search function to find and (with apologies to Faulkner) kill your darlings?