"Killing Unlucky Bystanders"

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Ok, the Greco-Latin versus Anglo-Saxon, I thought I understood. I got the general idea, but it wasn't until this quote that it hit home. "When we "cause collateral damage," it's hard to understand that we are "killing unlucky bystanders." At first, I was like "collateral damage?" What? That could mean anything. But, then I saw the next line. I realized that it really makes a difference in context and who you're speaking with.

As for the use active voice, I applaud. I hate passive voice (most of the time). I feel, when trying to persuade or inform people, it's useless and takes up space. When I see a lot of it in writing, I get so frustrated that I want to mark-up the paper. I think it's because my journalism teacher taught me to look for, and get rid of, passive voice in articles, yet still so many writers wrote in the passive voice and it was a lot of extra work for me, as an editor, to fix. I also felt the same thing with people using weak verbs over strong ones.

In the cliche section, I must say I did not recognize any of his examples as cliches. Maybe some have been out of writing for so long that we can start using (and overusing) them again.



Daniella Choynowski said:

I notticed too that the collateral damage term is ambiguous. The word doesn't immediately denote mass murder, and maybe that's intentional. We use words out of context so much that the original meanings get skewered.

I'm ashamed to admit, I have used "bat out of hell" and "this reporter" in articles (old, old articles from 2 years ago). Cliches are a total turnoff to me. They make it seem like the writer was just trying to fill space.

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