Tag Archive | journalism

Blinkers please, we’re Americans

A new wave of intellectual intolerance is emerging among young American social activists that threatens to take political correctness, an unwelcome export from the United States if you ask me, to new levels of bigotry. Advertisements

Can’t take it any more, logging off

For the past year and a half I have published 40 articles about how the English language is being used, or rather abused. I have scored nearly 8,500 unique hits, for which I am grateful, but there is no sign of the language improving. What did I expect?

Rinse and repeat? Not me thanks

Being a former foreign correspondent I thought I knew everything about jargon in journalism. For example, you’d door-step a cabinet meeting, hoping to get a comment from a minister once they came out. A sub editor at Reuters HQ in London would sub, i.e. edit, your story. But little did I know about online jargon […]

My pet hates 15 – Just don’t ramp me up

An obscure expression has crept into general parlance and seems to be replacing perfectly adequate words for no reason whatsoever. I’m referring to ramp up as in bolster, strengthen or increase. When did two words become preferable to one?

My pet hates 13 – reinventing ourselves, such a cliché…

There was a time when companies would simply adapt to new challenges, people would leave one job for another and organisations would introduce a change to regulations without being pretentious about it. Nowadays, however, many companies, people and organisations say they reinvent themselves.

Writing tip 10 – Libya and journalists saying the same thing twice

As a former foreign correspondent I’m keen to read up on international news such as the horrible story of Libyan dictator Col Gaddafi cracking down on rebel forces. But I find that some journalists keep creating cases of tautology in referring to pro-government forces. A government force is, by definition, fighting for the government.

My pet hates 11 – earlier today, later this year…

Journalists often write that something happened earlier this year/month/day, or that it’s expected to occur later this year/month/day, but the words earlier and later are usually redundant in this context. Worse, I suspect reporters are sometimes simply lazy.