Tuesday, March 31, 2015

How I say to fix it

"How the owner says the two men got away with his vehicle."

This leading W- word is so common in journalese, but it just annoys me. You're not describing how the owner/police/lawyer/witness/whoever says anything. They are saying how something happened. At the very least you need commas - how, the owner says, the two men got away. But really, dangit, move that w-word!

The owner says how the two men got away.

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2 Comments:

At 9:57 PM, March 31, 2015 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Do you think this is along the lines of "All [fill in the blank] are not [fill in the blank]" -- instead of what I consider to be the more precise "Not all [fill in the blank] are [fill in the blank]"?

 
At 10:36 PM, March 31, 2015 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

Not really. The negative scope problem (if it is a problem) is very widespread and you hear it everywhere while this seems confined to journalism. I think it's a trade idiom.

 

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