I can’t take credit for the following, but I found it very worth sharing.
It was written and is contained in a comment on this blog by Shayne Cook?
Often, I run into written essays, opinion pieces, etc. that really try to be compelling, but just don’t seem “quite right”. They generally have a super-abundance of the term/phrase, ” … the government …”, such as “The government could provide ….”. Well, you know.
So, I use this “trick” to specifically identify the elements that just don’t seem to be “quite right”:
It begins with copying the full essay (or whatever), and pasting it into your favorite word processor.
Then, in the “Edit” function, select the “Find/Replace” function – to Find every instance of the word “government” and Replace it with the word “taxpayer”. And then hit the “Go” button.
THEN, re-read the edited full essay (or whatever). And notice how much LESS (or more) compelling it reads, when it’s encumbered by the truth.
(This trick is also really handy to use with essays (or whatever) that contain a super-abundance of the phrase, “We need …..”! Just have your word processor Find every instance of that “We need” phrase, and Replace it with the phrase “I need ….” – and see how much difference there is in the meaning and “compelling” nature of the essay!)