Sunday, July 15, 2007

A Word on Word Choice

We're working on the wordiness and jargon chapter in our book, and can't help but notice in Sunday's New York Times, Frank Rich comes up with a startling number of synonyms for "lie." They include:

- fictional storyline
- fictionalizations
- propaganda
- hooey
- ingenuity (without scare quotes)
- fiction
- pure hot air

It's interesting to note that even a journalist who routinely bashes the Bush administration rarely writes the word "lie." We get "untruths," "misstatements" and other euphemisms, ostensibly because it's not polite to call people liars.

SPOGG is all for plain language, even if it seems rude. If it can be defended with facts, then it should be said in the simplest terms possible.

The cost of jargon and other spongey euphemisms is altogether too high.

No comments: