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Stuck in amid hell with you
The word ‘amid’ is scarcely used at all in spoken or written English. Why, then, is it so popular with journalists?
Amid, among, a muddle. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
“Hi, Brian! Where’s Sophie?”
“Sophie and I have split up amid rumours of an affair.”
“Why are you talking like that?”
“This conversation comes amid revelations that I’ve landed a job as a subeditor.”
Obviously, the exchange above never took place, because no one talks like that. (If they did, you could be forgiven for putting your fist amid their face.) More to the point, no one writes like that; except, it would seem, people of news. Continue reading
CONTRIBUTING OP-ED WRITER
Words for the Dumpster
By TIMOTHY EGAN
Published: December 28, 2013 1123 Comments
WITH the last tick of 2013, let’s throw out the most annoying, overused and abused words of the year. A few of these terms, “twerking” or “stay classy,” die a natural death when someone like John McCain starts using them — the aural equivalent of a comb-over. Others need a push.
Amanda Koster for The New York Times
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Many of these words originated in the food world and would have been perfectly fine had they not migrated to the general population. Some came out of mid-management office talk. What these hapless clichés have in common is this: They have been so diluted by misuse that they’ve lost their meaning.
And like bad holiday sweaters and Sarah Palin outrage, the following list is highly selective. To the Dumpster:
ARTISAN Once the legitimate term for cheese makers with alternative grooming habits and creative body art, this word has been co-opted by all the wrong people selling all the wrong products. Toilet-cleaning chemicals. Convenience store “food” with pull dates measured in decades. This is what happens when farmers’ markets fail to sue for copyright infringement. Continue reading
DEAR READER, I’M REACHING OUT…
By Tracey Spicer
July 18, 2013
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