Thursday, May 26, 2011

Needless words

Cup of Jo has an awesome post up today about Kurt Anderson, the editor of New York Magazine, and how he made a list of words he hates and asked his staff not to use them.

The journalism major in me LOVES this. His list has mostly pompous, cutesy or trying-too-hard words that get overused, especially by the magazine crowd: celeb, eponymous, a who's who of, hubby. Using "queried" and "penned" instead of simple words like "asked" and "wrote."

As I had drilled into me by a hardliner journlism proffessor: Omit needless words! Vigorous writing is concise!

I would add to this list the practice of using food descriptors with non-food items, i.e., "his legs were yummy." ::Shudder::

Anyway, check it out. What words or phrases do you hate or think are overused?

P.S. What words do you love? One of my favorites is "defenestrate" because it has an awesome and incredibly specific meaning.

1 comment:

Gabriela Lessa said...

I guess this is such a journalist thing to do, isn't it? I can relate too!

The fancy dialogue tags are definitely awful...