writegood-mode is a minorEmacs mode which highlights troublesome patterns
in your writing. It looks for three patterns:
- weasel words
- a set of adverbs that add no meaning to the words they modify
- passive voice
- sentences where the subject receives an action rather than performing it. Read this bit about passive voice. They explain it better.
- duplicated words
- “the the” is a common writing mistake, unless you’re talking about the band
Installing And Using It
Use the Emacs package manager to install
M-x package-install writegood-mode
Enable it at any time with
M-x writegood-mode. The documentation suggests you
set a global command key to start
writegood-mode more quickly, so I added that
(global-set-key (kbd "C-c g") 'writegood-mode)
Adding a Hook
I must confess something to you. I installed
writegood-mode months ago. I
never remember to manually load it. Maybe add a hook to load it?
(add-hook 'markdown-mode-hook 'writegood-mode)
This ensures that at least Markdown blog posts are automatically checked.
Customizing Your Weasel Words
writegood-weasel-words contains a good starter collection of words and
phrases to avoid. You can replace or extend this list with your own
(setq bmw/weasel-words '("actually" "basically" "easily" "easy" "simple" "simply")) (setq writegood-weasel-words (-concat writegood-weasel-words bmw/weasel-words))
(global-set-key (kbd "C-c C-g g") 'writegood-grade-level) (global-set-key (kbd "C-c C-g e") 'writegood-reading-ease)
|Flesch-Kincaid grade level score||4.98|
|Flesch-Kincaid reading ease score||77.68|
I write simply when possible, so these numbers please me. Readers can find highly technical writing at other sites.
Professional writers have professional editors. The rest of us do not. A tool
writegood-mode cannot replace a professional editor. However, by
highlighting common patterns of lazy writing, it can help us pay attention to
our words while we write them.
Excuse me. I need to edit that other post.