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Journalists, quite honestly, can be an eccentric bunch. A mix of varying ideologies and interests, things that get journalists excited and deep into debate can range from anything from who has the potential to be the most corrupt official in the community to what happens when cats mate.
Yes, both of those are real conversations from this newsroom.
Editors, possibly because they tend to have been around longer in the industry, can be among the
most odd oddest of the bunch.
Present company included.
A letter writer last week encouraged a previous letter writer
that who was up in arms over about a columnist’s opinion on couponing using coupons to make better choices regarding things to get outraged over about.
Good thing I’ve never gotten together with that writer to talk about my “word peeve” list. Important in the scheme of life? No way. Does it drive me a little more nuts than I naturally am? Absolutely.
Words on my “peeve” list are right up there with drivers
that who don’t drive the speed limit. I can go from calm to huffing and puffing instantly.
Since August, I’ve been filling in for a vacant page-designer position, so I’ve got a trusty, talented, experienced copy-editor helping edit the newspaper each week.
Things have been exceptional, except the periodic creeping in of some words on my list. These aren’t things you’ll find in the AP Stylebook, and they aren’t necessarily wrong, but they drive me crazy. You can count on me trying to chop as many of these words out of the newspaper as I can.
Yes, I told you, editors are among the
most odd oddest.
under younger than 3 are free [admitted] free. Children aren’t free and if they are, there is another story there. While by definition “under” means lower than or less than, it drives me nuts when used in this context. I try to get my writers to stick to older than or younger than, same with more than and less than.
•The house is
located at 123 Any St. I’m all about getting rid of extraneous words. The house is where it is. No need to throw in another word to fill out space.
•She went to the store
that was by her house. I spend more time cutting the word “that” out of the newspaper than anything else. In my opinion it’s one of the most over-used words out there.
•The woman was killed in a car
accident wreck. I picked this peeve up from a sheriff’s deputy at a newspaper where I used to work. He hated it when we called wrecks, collisions, crashes, etc. “accidents.” In most cases, he pointed out, someone has made a decision to do something (and quite frequently a stupid something) that causes a crash. It’s unfair to victims to call it an accident, he told me. After a driver who had been drinking killed my mother, I finally got understood what he meant.
•The group donated
monies money from the event to charity. I cringe when this word comes across my desk. Monies is the plural form of money when used in a financial context; however, in most cases, “money” will do. It refers to the collective use of coins and banknotes. C’mon, how many times have you heard anyone other than a financial advisor adviser or attorney talk about monies? Go ahead and donate your money to charity. It will keep my blood pressure down.
•The man walked
towards toward his car. Please, for the love of God and all things that keep me sane, stop putting an s on the end of toward. Yes, you can use “towards,” but please, just don’t.
•The meeting was
held at the church. This one is right up there with over/under and more than/less than. You will have to read through many definitions of “held” before you’ll get down to the transitive version that means to “arrange or take part in.” However, the last time I checked, a building or a location cannot “arrange or take part” in anything. It’s an inanimate object. Just say the meeting was at the church.
The “peeve” list, well, it’s much longer, but my head hurts now from thinking about all of them. I’m writing this on a Tuesday, our production day. I’ve got to find some time before the newspaper is finished to cut out as many of these words as I can.