I have been compiling a list of phrases and expresses that I hear often but never see in writing. I'm doing this because I want to make my writing more conversational and less didactic, y'know, to bring my writing more in line with my talking. Maybe it will give people some ideas; I'd like to know what other ones people can think of.
'[never] used to'
(as it) turns out'
'bring (it) up'
'as it so happens'
'has to do with'
'the thing of it' or just 'the thing (is)'
I noticed that 'did' is used a lot instead of other verbs like 'write' when naming for example authorship, ie Who did the Da Vinci Code? It was done by Dan Brown. Note the passive construction which actually does pop up.
Certain topical constructions pop-up that never do in much writing, ie the following...
'as far as (it) go/es'
'when it comes to'
'About' and 'with' phrases show up frequently. 'What about..?' and 'How 'bout..?' are common.
'Put (down)' as a way of saying 'write' or 'answer' i.e. "I put, "The Hessians were a...'" and 'went' instead of 'said' ie "...And I went, 'What are you doing?'" 'Put' can also mean speaking, as in "When you put it that way..."
'Tell' for discern/distinguish/see, and 'looks' for seems/appears. 'I think...' tends to appear very frequently too in answers to questions or statements. The phrase "I can't say..." or "I can't speak to that..." are obviously related but much less common. 'Told' is very frequent, mostly when you are telling people who you told what.
'Take it' is often used to state conjecture/speculation/opinion/understanding. Ie "The way I took it, he didn't really want to come."
'The way' appears absolutely everywhere btw.
'Call' appears frequently as in "bird calls", "phone calls" and "What is this/he/she/it called?" but mostly meaning 'to call [someone on the telephone]'. However, 'called' or 'cried' as in the sense of yelled/hollered are mostly for writers I think.
'how are things going'
I would love to hear some if you think of any. These are mostly in addition to the basic grammar words like 'which' and 'because', contractions, and words like 'stuff' and 'thing', but if you have a pet word please mention it. If you love grammar and using more words rather than fewer, bring up the words that annoy you! ;)
for group greggshorthand)
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