Surplus words are hardly rare these days but 'eurosceptic' in this article on Yahoo News, spotted by David Kernek, is certainly worth a mention.
Nigel Farage, a eurosceptic member of the UK Independence Party, verbally savaged Herman Van Rompuy in a parliamentary debate last week, saying the former Belgian prime minister was from a "non-country" and had the "charisma of a damp rag."
Those who have been on our subbing courses know we regularly have a rant about words dropped into copy thoughtlessly. Particular examples include:
A number of cars were damaged. This is a range from one car to as many as there are on the planet. Cars were damaged is three words shorter and, as a plural, more accurate.
Police are currently investigating. The use of the present tense tells us that it is current.
Passing phase. A phase is by definition passing. These meaningless modifiers, such as unexpected surprise, free gift, past experience, appear to be growing in popularity among would-be feature writers.
Company creates new 60 jobs. The Daily Mail's guide for subs has its own take on this: "You should all know by now that there is no such thing as a new report, a new study or new research. It is also crass to refer to a 'premiere of a new film'. The word new should rarely appear in a newspaper."
The Mail guide also has a nice rant about stating the obvious: "In intros concerning household names, never write phrases such as ‘footballer Wayne Rooney’ or ‘supermarket giant Tesco’. Subsequent pars present an ideal opportunity to say ‘the Manchester United player’ or ‘Britain’s biggest supermarket chain’ so as not to embarrass any readers who have spent the last 15 years on the planet Zog."
And finally from a court report from a London weekly about the murder of two (sic) twins who suffered from 'everyday alcoholism'. The killer used shopping trolleys to dump their bodies in the Regent's Canal, where they lay undiscovered for a month.
Undiscovered? What a terrific story it would be if they weren't.
Nigel Farage, a eurosceptic member of the UK Independence Party, verbally savaged Herman Van Rompuy in a parliamentary debate last week, saying the former Belgian prime minister was from a "non-country" and had the "charisma of a damp rag."Skip related content