Every year, I find myself on the offensive against some overused word or phrase. This semester, I'm tilting against "also." Not that I have any great objection to "also," mind you--it's a perfectly useful word. But rarely useful at the beginning of a sentence. Like so: "Also, Dr. Burstein, a somewhat diminutive Victorianist, wishes that classrooms were not designed for people six feet tall." As I have been reminding my students, opening a sentence with "also" can turn a substantive point into something that sounds like a mere afterthought, hanging awkwardly off the rest of the paragraph. (Obviously, if the point is an afterthought or minor addendum, then there's no problem.) I think I need a macro.
(Sorry, lots of papers arriving at once. Will return to substantive posts shortly.)