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23rd Annual SF_Express "Stamp Out Respective/Respectively" Campaign

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SF_Express, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    I had an SE who wrote a headline that began with "Alas" -- a word he thought meant "At last."
  2. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    I'm following Mile High's rule and just calling you "Johnny" from now on.
  3. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    Firstly, that's fine with me. We're beyond adverbs.
    Secondly, there is no secondly.
    Thirdly, and mostly importantly, I'm with Mile Highly thusly. Mostly.
  4. holy bull

    holy bull Active Member

    Is "just" necessary?
    And what about "im"?
    Methinks the indefinite article superfluous.

    What say you, "girl"?


    ho bull
  5. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Well, girl's actually the only part of it that's questionable.
  6. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    Lolly Lolly Lolly get your adverbs here

  7. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Active Member

    We don't allow -- not to mention.
    If you don't need to mention it, don't mention it.
  8. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    I've only worked at at three papers, so I'm no journeyman, but irregardless, you can believe me when I say I just don't understand all the problems listed here. Honestly, most writers use these words to help their respective writing styles be more appealing. In fact, arguably writers put more time into thinking of these things than we think they do. Not to mention the fact that they have been doing this for years, in many cases.

    I'm hopeful that you'll all understand where I'm coming from. ;D
  9. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Is "irregardless" really a problem? It's not a word. There's no debate about whether it's wrong or not.

    Most of the issues mentioned in this thread would cause an eyeroll if found in the clip packet of a prospective job candidate. "Irregardless" would lead to the application being shredded. Or, you know, sent to recycle bin.
  10. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    It keeps showing up in copy. That's the problem.

    Kind of like "supersede". No debate on how it's spelled. It's just that 96.3% of reporters don't know how to spell it.
  11. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Right. I agree that "irregardless" shows up in copy. I feel embarrassed for the reporters when it does. But it's not like there's a counterpoint. The people who care about stamping out "irregardless" are the ones who would never write it in the first place. In essence, a discussion on "irregardless" starts and ends with, "That's not a word."

    There are people who think "respective" or "respectively" is necessary even in linear structures. There are people who think "-ly" words are useful in adding color. People who think "in other words" and "to be honest" improve conversational tone.

    These people are not all idiots, they are approaching writing from a different perspective. I (and everyone else in this thread) think they're wrong.

    I suppose "not to mention" is more akin to "irregardless" in this line of thinking, though. If it's "not to mention," then why are you mentioning it? It's actually a hypocritical phrase if combined with a specific example (for instance: Richardson, not to mention Eddie LaceyLacy, who scored on a 20-yard dash in garbage time) and a pointless phrase if combined with vague examples (for instance: Alabama, not to mention other elite teams).

    But most of the examples in this thread are the types of things that aren't inherently wrong but muck up text, slowing readers down while providing no actual value. There are arguments for those devices. Most often, those arguments are weak.
  12. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    There is an appropriate and inappropriate use of "not to mention". Just because most use it inappropriately doesn't mean it should be stricken from use altogether. Threads like this bother me because they start from a good place but they always devolve into groups that are overstated or entirely misplaced. Most of you are probably thinking about a particular writer or group of writers whose screw-ups you have to read regularly. I get it. I've had to do it. It sucks. They suck.

    But sometimes obsession over certain gripes often leads to missing more important things. For instance, as Versatile gives an example of improper use of "not to mention" he misspells Eddie Lacy's name. The first rule I ever learned in communications school about writing, to quote my professor (who had a difficult name to spell), was "Spell the goddamn guy's name right!'
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