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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Eat Your Popular Orange Veggies

Are you guilty of overusing your POVs?

No, not points of view--popular orange vegetables.

It seems the blogger of all things English for The Guardian (UK) sees too many colorful synonyms in news stories. You know the kind of thing. For example, in the Kansas City Star, actress Melissa Leo was referred to later in the article as "the wiry redhead." When one story in The Liverpool Echo referred to carrots as "the popular orange vegetable," throwing the newsroom into hysterics, our British blogger started calling all such hateful synonymous phrases POVs.

While I'm sympathetic to the cause--and I do get tired of hearing various countries called "the war-torn republic" or heads of state nicknamed "the beleagured leader"--I have to say that sometimes these phrases do impart a little extra info. The "wiry redhead" mentioned above provokes a chuckle, and maybe that could have been phrased better, but at least now I know Melissa Leo is a redhead. And wiry.

Read the blog and form your own opinion on the topic. The comments actually give some of the best examples (bananas = "bendy yellow fruit").

2 comments:

  1. I bet these POVs are poor, bored writers trying to add some spice (bananas are technically a spice, by the way-- going completely off topic) to otherwise brain-dead writing. A friend of mine has advice she gives to new journalists: "Once in a while you get to make a steak, but most of the time you're just churning out hamburgers." These POVs are one way to dress hamburger up to look like steak.

    But alas, we know the truth.

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  2. I'm SO pleased to have a blog that allows me to learn new things every day. Bananas?! A spice?! A bendy yellow herb? So says Jen and AskOxford.com. Thanks for the insight!

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