John McIntyre of The Baltimore Sun writes on how journalists use language. Primarily, he focuses upon grammar and style.
As one of those journalists whose grammar is ruinous, I read McIntyre's writing wondering what it be like to work in journalism thirty years ago when there were copy editors. [Putting aside that as a Crown Ward, my socio-economic class of birth would still exclude me from newspaper journalist even in the 90s]
How much would my writing be improved by continuous editing? This is the question I often think of reading McIntyre's columns.
Turning to this week's column, adjectival bloat.
In recent months, I've adopted simplier language in my writing.
Nothing is prestigous when everything is prestigous. The other problem with this adjective? Mistaking pretensious for prestigous.
Award-winning when everything is award-winning.
McIntyre's list is amusing, my favourite entry:
Leafy Typically describes a neighborhood or suburb more affluent than the one the writer lives in.