SmartEdit and the Redundant Adverb

I am currently applying SmartEdit to the content of my second novel in Microsoft Word and am happy with it. Today, I discovered I had used the adverb "only" sixty-seven times. That's right. Embarrassing. 'Exactly" came in a distant second with twenty-four repetitions and 'usually,' a not so shabby third, at eighteen. Granted, the narrator's voice in this book, set in the rural south, is that of an eleven-year-old boy; yet, I very much wish for him to be trusted as an astute if not vigilant observer and reporter of what he hears and sees. Hence, I have taken his sixty-seven "onlys" to heart.

The nice thing about using SmartEdit with respect to this specific function is that I can click on a redundant adverb and the box next door displays all its related sentence fragments. The Quick review makes it obvious when a sentence reflects an appropriate colloquial usage of a particular adverb; in that instance, a substitution or omission wouldn't necessarily add anything.

A good proportion of these "onlys" were associated with lazy speaking. This is something I can easily admit to myself. In SmartEdit, I can click on a lazy sentence; the program jumps directly to the highlighted part of the text, and I can edit as much or as little as I see fit.

Shoddy adverbs, I have found, are helpful to identify, in that they frequently flag a lazy sentence, sometimes embedded within a lazy paragraph. What I like about SmartEdit is; you can rewrite a paragraph immediately, your work is saved automatically, and you can proceed to the next without leaving the page.


Edit: After we'd shared this article, a friend recommended an editing program for German language speakers. "Papyrus Autor" is relatively expensive (179 €) but extremely powerful." and can be found by clicking this link here.