When I edit a writer’s work, I mark the somes—some, somebody, someone, something, and somewhere. Next, I point out the anys—any, anybody, anyone, anything, and anywhere.
A recent search in my mystery manuscript dug up more than one dead victim. It unearthed a multitude of unwanted words: 64 some, 3 somebody, 31 someone, 71 something, and 3 somewhere. A further search exposed the anys: 83 any, 1 anybody, 17 anyone, 53 anything, and 7 anywhere. Somebody outweighed anybody one to four. Then I searched for nobodys. Thankfully, only seven of those.
I’ll eventually eliminate most of these indefinite pronouns and articles. For now, I’ll add a few more with this rhyme of anonymous expectations.
Everybody thought somebody should.
Someone thought anyone could.
Everyone thought anybody would.
But, nobody did.