Thursday, December 19, 2013

Don't be trendy – be considerate

Don’t abuse the preposition around

A corporate writer recently wrote “The company wanted to improve its processes around managing change.” The preposition of, or the preposition for, would have been more precise than the preposition around.

A political writer wrote “centering assessment around common work.” It should have been “centering assessment on common work.”

Very likely, these writers abused around simply because they wanted to follow the cutesy trend of promiscuously abusing around. The writers indulged their desire to be cutesy at the expense of their readers, who must pause for a few moments and decode the sentences. In other words, the writers were being fatuous, lazy and inconsiderate.

Other cutesy, semi-literate fads include the abuse of comfortabledriveexcitedissuepassionself-esteem and sustainability. Such abuse not only confuses your readers but also dulls your mind.

The Takeaway: Be considerate of your readers; don’t follow semi-literate fads. Following semi-literate fads may cause your semi-literate readers to admire you, but it will almost certainly cause your literate readers to disdain you.

See disclaimer.

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