Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Cluefulness quiz

There are two flavors of "style" error in this example: one small and irritating, one large and out-and-out harmful. Identify them and explain why one is worse than the other:

The man, who uses the alias of both Mike and Mark Post, looks to be in his 40s. He is 5’8” or 5’9” and heavyset, between 200 and 225 pounds and drives a dark blue Ford Expedition.

(Answer to follow in the subscribers-only edn, but everyone's welcome to play in the meantime)


Blogger melissa angle said...

small and annoying: "5 feet 8 inches tall" would be correct style. I'd also say the man was about 5 feet 8 inches tall and lose the meaningless 1-inch estimate.

large and harmful: Quick--tell me how many of you have a father who looks to be in his 40s, is 5 feet 8 inches tall and between 200 and 225 pounds? I know I do, and if he wanted he could be driving a Ford Expedition. Non-descriptive descriptions are bad.

2:25 PM, January 24, 2006  

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