Thursday, October 18, 2007

Strictly Speaking. Edwin Newman. Significant Sentences 03.

Significant sentences from Edwin Newman's Strictly Speaking, blunt criticism of Americans' use of the English language.

" 'Massive' doesn't even mean large any more...goes by without registering...means nothing." p. 29.

"You may convince that; you may convince of; you may not convince to." p. 32.

"What makes the incorrect more attractive than the correct?" p. 33.

"Gresham's Law tells us that the less valuable currency will force the more valuable out of circulation." p. 33.

"Why do American politicians invariably say 'I would hope' "? p. 34.

"A 'serious crisis' is the only one to 'true facts.' "p. 35.

"When does a sheet of paper metamorphose into a document?" p. 45.

"No practice in Washington is more beloved than that of attributing statements to sources who cannot be named." p. 49.

"One reason that language is debased in Washington is that it rests so often on assumptions that are unexamined." p. 51. [RayS: For example, today, in the Iraq War, newspapers and reporters on TV constantly refer to the "insurgents." What is an "insurgent"?]

"Politics has a way of bringing on meaningless language." p. 65.

"People who say 'judgmental' think they are important." p. 70.

"...anything that depersonalizes is an enemy of language." p. 71. [RayS: For example, "Wop," "Polak," etc.]

No comments: