Saturday, February 21, 2009

Porcelain? Marble? Alabaster?

Heavy white stuff may already be falling when you read this -- and it's only going to pile up deeper.

Let's jot this one in the margins of our stylebooks, shall we? On first reference, that stuff is called "snow." On second reference, it's "snow." Third and all subsequent references, "snow." It is not "white stuff." It is never "white stuff."*

Yet another sign of the Apocalypse showed up yesterday in the lede of the top story:

It's official: Gov. Jennifer Granholm says she'll use federal stimulus dollars to avoid planned budget cuts to Michigan schools and universities next fiscal year.

Once more with feeling: "It's official" must be deleted whenever it appears. You do not need to consult with the originating desk. You do not need to consult with the writer.

And it will pay $853 million for road and transportation projects expected to create about 25,000 related jobs.

Please don't make people work so hard to find the antecedent. (Unless you really wanted "they," referring back to "dollars," which is a pretty good case for not saying "dollars" when you mean "money.")


* And, for the record, it wasn't falling when I brought the paper in and isn't now, though the radio alleges that it has reached the western burbs. The best way for newspapers to avoid looking silly about the weather is to let other people do the predicting.

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3 Comments:

Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

Packing peanuts!

2:39 PM, February 21, 2009  
Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

Also: oddly, perhaps, although I first read "It's official" as having the dummy it, when I got to "And it will pay" I decided that the first "It" must be referring to something that will pay, probably the stimulus package, now "official". And I thought the whole thing very awkward.

8:12 AM, February 22, 2009  
Anonymous M.C. said...

Amen to calling snow snow rain rain and either anything but "precip."

White stuff could also be a certain narcotic, and if that was falling from the sky, bot what a mess

4:29 PM, February 26, 2009  

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