Wasteline (yes, wasteline)
6 June 2010
India Drummond points to a useful little tool called The Wasteline Test that measures your wtiting for five common things most of us need to edit out: overuse of ‘be’, abstract nouns, prepositions, adjectives/adverbs and ‘it’, ‘this’, ‘that’ and ‘there’. (Those do begin to look like Monty Python levels of ‘five’.)
Happily, I pasted in a few paragraphs from one of the stories I have out on the market at the moment, and it rated it ‘lean’ in all five categories. On the other hand, it did colour most of a paragraph about railways in central Europe blue because it thought ‘stations’ and ‘compartments’ were abstract nouns.
The copy-editor in me is glad I can’t be replaced by a robot just quite yet.