No editors, no milkmen.
Once upon a time, newspapers were edited so the average reader — known in the trade as “the Kansas City milkman” — could understand a news story. Today, newspapers are not edited for the milkman since there are no editors and no milkmen. Thus, we get sentences like this one in a Boston Globe, Feb. 16, 2022 story about the pandemic’s effects on consumer spending: “It’s an example of cognitive dissonance hitting New Englanders as they navigate….”
Every Globe reader, of course, knows what cognitive dissonance is. Most readers have degrees from Harvard or MIT or from one of the other 25or so universities or colleges in the Boston area. And all have studied psychology. So why use plain English when you can show off with high-fallutin’ stuff? I can imagine a Globe version of an Elvis Presley classic: “I’m in love. I’m all cognitive dissonant..oh, oh, yes, yes. Please don’t inquire about my psychological status… ”
File under: I’m all shook up.