Wednesday, June 26, 2013


"Does anyone else find the common practice of stating an opinion and then going on to write "That said... blah blah blah" or "Having said that... blah blah blah," to be extremely redundant and poor stylistically? Whenever I see it I feel like I'm reading the writing of a first grader that is too lazy to craft decent writing, even though professional writers are sometimes guilty.

That said, it does seem to serve a useful purpose in informal writing, as a sort of disclaimer: a bash-you-over-the-head acknowledgment of apparent contradictions or counterarguments."
-From a forum on The Free

That phrase is one of my pet itches. Until I began blogging and reading blogs I'd never heard it. Now, it's an invasive species; showing up in an otherwise fascinating read, Doc by Mary Doria Russell. The story is that of Doc Holliday, Russell's expertly researched and told revisionist history of an American West hero. When I came across "that said" in that fictionalized history I almost spit. Could "that said" fit in a saddle?

It's an uncommon thing for me to rant like this, but there you have it. Elders do.

Does this phrase bother you?

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