Thursday, February 16, 2006

Writing that impacts us negatively

More from Al Kosa, doing his best William Safire impression. Reposted from our Braves blog, Rowland's Office:

That headline is a joke. Though apparently it is officially gramatically correct to use "impact" as a verb, I loathe that usage. It sounds like an interoffice memo, especially when used like this headline when you should say something like hurts or annoys.

Anyway, as a self-appointed guardian of the language, I sometimes seethe at the drivel that passes for sports writing. Just today I read several words and phrases that regularly pollute newspapers, magazines and web sites:

Over the course of
What’s wrong with “during” or “for?”

Proved to be
How about “was.”

Possess, as in “Chipper Jones possesses power from both sides of the plate.”
Use has. Possess sounds clunky and out-of-place when you’re talking about a ballplayer’s speed, power or defense.

Display – “Kelly Johnson has displayed patience at the plate.”
Baseball is not a flower show. You don’t display a good glove or a fastball or speed or knowledge. You show it. Write that, or something more vigorous.

Another one that bugs the hell out of me is “efforting.”

I don’t read this one much but hear it on sports radio – “Dillweed is efforting to get John Smoltz on with us.” No he’s not. He’s trying to get John Smoltz on with you. Effort is not a verb.

1 comment:

  1. Efforting? That has to be a southern thing. Anyway, bring on Bob Costas