Monthly Archives: June 2020

Task force to the rescue!

Our dictionary definition of a task force is: “What regular folks call a committee, but usually just as inefficient or useless.” What brings this up is a Boston Globe story, June 27, 2020, headlined: “With complaints about illegal fireworks in Boston skyrocketing, Walsh forms task force.” Mayor Martin J. Walsh was inspired to form the task force by illegal fireworks complaints increasing by 5,543 percent so far in June, compared… Read Article →

Even if you are sober

One of our favorite words in journalese is “sobering.” It’s one of those words you rarely use in everyday speech — unless you’re a bartender. You only see it in news stories. Our dictionary definition: “This is going to wake you up even if you never drink or are already sober.” What brings this up is the Boston Globe’s page 1, top story headline, June 17, 2020: “As virus surges… Read Article →

All’s quiet on the news front

When a reporter writes that something had been done “quietly,” it means he or she missed covering the story when it happened. Great illustration of this is in a Boston Globe story on June 11, 2010, about Governor Baker planning a bill to create a statewide certification process for police. The story says: “Baker is expected to release details of the plan as early as next week, building off the… Read Article →

Separated by a common language.

A quote attributed to George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde and Winston Churchill: “England and America are two countries separated by a common language.” It’s illustrated in a New York Times story, June 3, 2020, headlined “Journalists report being targeted by police at protests.” Includes this sentence, which will bring smiles to Brits: “In some instances, journalists were attacked after telling officers that they were on the job.” File under: By… Read Article →