Some words and phrases I avoid when speaking and writing, either because they’re too trendy, too affected, or they suggest thoughtlessness. Years ago I took a copywriter job at a big agency. “Welcome aboard,” I heard more than once the first week. We would get“on the same page” when I joined the new project. Soon after … More Are you -based or -centric? Take this usage test to find out if you suck or blow.
Writing about Donald Trump (and enduring his castigation)
Standing guard at an abortion clinic
Repairing power lines downed in an ice storm
Tidying up after suicide bombers … More 5 Jobs I Managed to Avoid in 2015
That’s outrageous!! Gotta love it.”
“You have excellent taste.”
“I know a good boob when I see one.” … More Christmas boobs. Are you listening? Beautiful sight, happy tonight.
As it happens, the seven-footer resents being called Stretch, the anorexic loathes the name Twiggy, and imagine the consternation of the awards-show host and recipient when the announcement comes: “It goes to Blind Lemon Jefferson.” … More As PC came in, nicknames swept beyond the outfield, out of the jukebox, even the ballot box
“As visitors to the resort for more than 20 years, the parrots are the first things we visit when we arrive.” The prepositional phrase dangles at the start of this tautology, which is taken from the MailBox column of Westways, the AAA of SoCal’s mag. The people visit; the parrots, much to their own chagrin, stay put. … More Look what happens when a local columnist tries to be Mark Twain
Translating a novel from Finnish to English must be like landing a spacecraft on Jupiter’s moon Europa in order to tryst with winsome Gwyneth Paltrow, who avowed she’d be there, too. … More Why I refuse to learn Finnish or tryst with Gwyneth Paltrow