Monday, January 17, 2011

The maniacal use of “issues” (5)

Journalists persist in their maniacal use of “issues.” A Reuters headline writer provides this especially silly example:

“One in 7 households hit by hunger issues in 2009”

Normally I avoid critiquing headlines, because headline writers often must sacrifice grammar and good diction in order to keep headlines short. But I am breaking my rule here, because the Reuters headline writer, in order to use the trendy issues, made his headline longer. I can imagine this fellow writing

One in 50 households hit by burglary issues in 2009


One in 3 college grads hit by functional illiteracy issues

The Takeaway: Don’t clutter your copy with meaningless trendy words. Your reader is unlikely to be impressed by your conformity to fashions and fads. He is more likely to conclude you are a flibbertigibbet.

See disclaimer.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you. This word typically makes us translators stop and wonder what the writer meant...