You can paste text into a webpage you can easily find online. It will return a list of your words, showing how many times you’ve used each.

Glaring goofs – clichés, pronouns with confusing antecedents, useless adverbs, the same multisyllabic bon mot twice in three lines – leave me shocked and appalled at missing them in numerous previous readthrus. Suddenly, my sweater feels too warm.

The online tool doesn’t only force scavenging for synonyms. It makes me shrink the tally of words that just shouldn’t be there at all, like ‘just’ and ‘that’. And, more often than I want to admit, sentence hunks, even whole sentences containing a dupe or two, get trashed. Sometimes repetition strengthens a story, but is usually padding.

Working through the list, deciding which words deserve attention, which are inocuous and infrequent enough to skip, is reassuring. I wish it didn’t take so long.