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The Grumpy Editor has something new to grump about.

Unless you use it to designate a place or direction, or something in a place or direction, the word “there” weakens tight, punchy writing.

“Trendy fashionistas are wearing cow heads” is better — that is, stronger and shorter — than “There’s a trend among fashionistas to wear cow heads.”

“Only VIPs have sex in the Champagne Room” is better than “There is sex in the Champagne Room only for VIPs.”

“Nobody needs to use the word ‘there’ ” is better than “There is no need for anybody to use the word ‘there.’ ”

The Grumpy Editor admits that he himself has used “there” in this way. Moreover, so have many writers far greater than GrumpyEd (see “There must be more money” in “The Rocking-Horse Winner” by D.H. Lawrence).

But for most of us who are not great writers, the Grumpy Editor advises avoiding “there.” So there!

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