Favorite

Stylish Language; Department of Unfortunate Phraseology 

Rosie Right

The fine newsletter Copy Editor is celebrating its 10th year. As part of the observance, the editors have compiled a supplement that includes many of their favorite articles, arranged in a year-by-year format. One of the items is a mini-lecture for writers, copy editors and, indeed, all of us who use the language. This is one Rosie thinks we should all take to heart:

"The meaning of Christian has changed, say many people who study the English language. The word used to describe anyone who believed in the divinity of Jesus Christ. Nowadays, many people use it to denote only fundamentalist Christians. Moreover, many people infuse the word with what they consider to be negative characteristics of fundamentalist Christians, such as intolerance and narrow-mindedness.

Language experts urge writers and editors to return the word to its broad meaning."

Amen.



Stylish Language
One of the benefits of writing a column about words is the way it almost forces you to watch every word and phrase you see while you are reading. Here are a few examples Rosie stumbled on this week:

"What with cell phones and palm pilots and satellite-controlled pagers and messagers, the world is too much with us. …

"…If you are out of pocket, you are considered to be somewhat out to lunch. If you are off the scope, society thinks you must be off you rocker." -William Safire's column in The New York Times, June 8, 2000.



"`Both funeral directors and poets favor wearing black,' he notes. `Plus, both groups have a penchant for free drink and horizontal bodies.'" — found in the arts section of the same New York Times in an article about Thomas Lynch, who is both a funeral director and a poet.



Department of Unfortunate Phraseology:
"A new breed of virus targets handheld devices …." Computer security experts intercepted a new virus designed to attack cell phones with text capabilities, posing a threat to handheld computers, pagers and phones that are exploding in use worldwide." From CNN.com, June 7.

Rosie would hate to have her cell phone explode in her ear.



Let Rosie hear from you by telephone (358-0825), letter (1118 W. Main St., Richmond, Va. 23220), fax (359-9089) or e-mail rmail@richmond.infi.net.

Favorite

Latest in Miscellany

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Connect with Style Weekly

Most Popular Stories

  • Preaching for Peace

    Preaching for Peace

    As gun violence plagues the city, the Rev. Donte McCutchen seeks solutions.
    • Jun 15, 2021
  • Waive That Flag

    Waive That Flag

    A VCU teacher has students redesign Virginia flags to “reckon with dead symbols.”
    • Jun 8, 2021
  • Power to the People

    Power to the People

    A new documentary about the rise and fall of the Confederate monuments offers a sweeping history of resistance.
    • Jun 8, 2021
  • A Man for All Seasons

    A Man for All Seasons

    The famous Lee’s Chicken Sign Weather Report leaves the roost.
    • May 25, 2021
  • More »

Copyright © 2021 Style Weekly
Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
All rights reserved
Powered by Foundation