Gearing up.

“Gearing up” is classic journalese. Our dictionary definition: “To get something going. Gearing down would mean getting more muscle, if it were a car, which is where the expression probably originated, but reporters who have never driven a stick-shift car use ‘gearing down’ to mean slowing down.”

A Boston Globe story, May 20, 2017, about a memorial finally being dedicated to the 100 people who died in the Rhode Island night club fire 14 years ago, has the strangest, most insensitive and inappropriate use of the expression I have ever seen: “Now, family members are gearing up for Sunday, when Governor Gina Raimondo and former governor Donald Carcieri will help dedicate the site.”

File under: Copy editors no longer exist.

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