Monthly Archives: January 2021

Dangling modifiers go wild

With the disappearance of copy editors, it’s a wild time out in media-land for dangling modifiers. Once upon a time, in the good old days of letterpress, reporters could be saved by linotype operators who knew English grammar. Alas, they are long gone, and we get AP stories like this one, on Jan. 28, 2021: “WASHINGTON — Speaker Nancy Pelosi intensified pressure Thursday on House Republican leaders for their handling… Read Article →

Underscore this.

Have you noticed the rampant use of “underscore” in news stories? Everything is underscored by something. The New York Times used it 1,691 times in the past year. Maybe it’s just the prevelance of the media’s “interpreting” in the guise of news. There are a dozen other ways of saying the same thing — such as accentuate, highlight, stress, call attention to, emphasize — but underscore sounds fancier, at least… Read Article →