Notes from the newsroom on grammar, usage and style. (Some frequently asked questions are here.)
After Deadline’s relentless cliché watch continues, thanks to Patrick LaForge and some other sharp-eyed colleagues. In deadline haste, sometimes it’s hard to avoid falling back on a familiar stockpile of words and phrases. But let’s stay alert and not write on autopilot. And copy editors — help those harried writers out.
The latest batch, with Patrick’s comments:
He describes getting a foot in the door at Goldman as a new recruit …
A lifeless cliché, especially in this context.
My matzo balls, neither heavy as lead nor light as a feather, are al dente, infused with fresh ginger and nutmeg.
That’s quite a range between those two avoidable clichés.
But for the relatively small universe of people who resist buying coverage, the mandate is a bitter pill.
Especially in the health-care context, the phrase seems hackneyed.
Some physicists were unhappy that the Opera group had managed to commandeer CERN’s auditorium, the biggest stage in physics, to air their dirty laundry, turning the neutrino work into a circus.
When clichés collide.
These are just a few of the subjects that Mel Wymore, a candidate for City Council on the Upper West Side, brought up in an interview before addressing the elephant in the room: that, if elected, he would be the first transgender member of the Council.
Wait! There was an elephant in the room? No, just a cliché.
Required Reading: The Corrections
For us in the newsroom, reading that lineup of missteps on Page A2 every day is an exercise in misery and self-mortification. But painful as it is, we shouldn’t be tempted to skip over the Corrections column. Aside from the spiritual benefits of humility, there’s a practical reason.
If everyone in the newsroom had read this correction on Feb. 29 …
The TV Watch column on Tuesday, about “Titans at the Table’’…