David Marsh again
Posted: 05 February 2014 10:30 AM   [ Ignore ]
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From the Guardian - one is about how style guide plagiarism is to be saluted if sensible and the other about BuzzFeed ‘s (me neither) style guide.

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Posted: 05 February 2014 02:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The cocktail, which they did not invent, is simply a martini (three parts gin or vodka to one part dry vermouth, olive and a twist of lemon).

Man, they’re just spoiling for a fight, aren’t they?

[Edit] From the second link:

14 It contains the best advice I’ve seen in any style guide

“Avoid the word ‘problematic’ at all costs.”

Delightful!  And the whole style guide sounds very well done, which (frankly) surprises me.

[ Edited: 05 February 2014 02:13 PM by languagehat ]
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Posted: 05 February 2014 03:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I realize I am courting abuse by asking this, but what’s wrong with “problematic”, such that it is to be avoided at all costs?  It’s hardly one of my favorite words, but it doesn’t crack my top 1000 of most annoying/misused/overused words, either.  If I were to single one word out for special mention in a style guide, it would not be that one.  It seems like such an idiosyncratic peeve that I keep looking for a trace of irony in its condemnation, but I’m not finding any.

Is the idea that it is a cliche?  Euphemistic (I faced a problematic situation vs. I faced a problem)?  Or is the idea that it “really” means something different from what many people who use it think it means, so if you use it you will either annoy the pedants or confuse everybody else?  If the last, what does it “really” mean?

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