Tag Archive for ‘English language’
Old version: Open-handedness toward our neighbour in need.
New version: Getting the government to spend other people’s money on politically favoured groups, at home and abroad.
Oh, my do lovers of language love images! They should. Images—word pictures—enlighten, enliven, entertain. Tight as a tick; drunk as a lord; ugly as a mud fence. See what I mean? The reader doesn’t merely read; he sees.
You probably think an attack on cliches—images worn down like a mill stone—is about to ensue. Not today. That’s for later.
I got into it recently—in cordial fashion—with the editors of an editorial page for which I used to labor. One of their columnists had used a word . . . well, let’s say we wouldn’t have printed it in Ye Olden Tyme. The editors took exception to the exception I took to the word’s appearance on their page. I riposted: whatever happened to euphemism?
Can’t stand to watch the English language’s losing encounter with the culture of who-cares-anyway? A new book says, get over it, fella. “Too often,” argues Jack Lynch, professor of English at Rutgers University, “the mavens and pundits are talking through their hats. They’re guilty of turning superstition into rules, and often their proclamations are nothing more than prejudice representing itself as principle.”