Here are the corrections and explanations for last week’s entries.
“Degrade” means an actual lowering in status or rank or a corruption in terms of value.
“Denigrate” means to insult, belittle or sneer at someone or something. It in not interchangeable with “degrade”.
“Downgrade” means to lower something in worth or to make something worse.
INANE CLICHÉ – MY RANT # 1
Think about what is written in the following highly overused and trite cliche.
Does it make any real sense?
What is implied in “immediately”?
What statement should be used?
“A representative for Chery was not immediately available for comment.”
If a reporter cannot talk to a spokesman for his story, he uses the inane phrase, “…not immediately available…”.
This does not even make sense.
Does it mean that a spokesman will be available later, as opposed to immediately?
Is it a feeble attempt to sound erudite in the absence of a quotable being?
Is it a cover-up for mere speculation?
Is it just fill?
Is it just an easy way to avoid doing the required spadework to authenticate a story?
Is it a sign of an inability to write _______ ? (Supply your own adverb at the end.)
If nothing else, the following should be used:
“A representative for Chery was not available for comment.”
“Intense” comes from your forceful, passionate or extreme effort, as in an intense study before an exam.
“Intensive” has the same meaning except it comes from external forces, as in the intensive bombing of Berlin during the Second World War.
YES/YEAH – MY RANT # 2
What is the difference between “yes” and “yeah“?
When a reporter, or anyone presenting news or information on the public airways, uses the term “Yeah…” in response to a question, such as was done by a certain CBC Business Reporter early this week, I seriously wonder about the professionalism of such a person.
“Yeah” is street slang and has no place in a newsroom.
“Yeah” does nothing but lower the intelligence level of the speaker, and by extension, the report being presented.
“Yeah” does not make a reporter or writer cool; “yeah” does not make the reporter or writer more friendly or more hip; it just makes that person sound ignorant, untrained and unprofessional.
I suggest that the pros start raising the bar of their presentations, if for no other reason than to be the professionals they are paid to be.
“YES” IS THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE WORD.
“YEAH” IS NEVER ACCEPTABLE.
Identify and correct the error in the following sentence.
“Under terms of the tunnel proposal, Infrastructure Ontario would loan $75 million to the recently formed Windsor-Detroit Tunnel Corporation.”
“Loan” is a noun. The verb form is “lend”. They are not interchangeable.
“Under terms of the tunnel proposal, Infrastructure Ontario would lend $75 million to the recently formed Windsor-Detroit Tunnel Corporation.”
TRY AND/TRY TO
“Try and” is non-standard and should never be used.
“Try to” should always be used because of the different meanings of the words “and” and “to”.
““Formally”” really means properly, correctly or officially.
“Formerly” means once, previously or in the past.
The problem is that the words are often mixed up with each other.
A NOBLE PHILOSOPHY
“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”
Helen Keller wrote this.
LAST WEEK’S WORDS
“Rancorous” (adj.) means bitter, cruel, venomous or spiteful.
“Enigmatic” (adj.) means mysterious, unfathomable or unknowable.
“Anserine” (adj.) means resembling a goose, stupid, foolish or silly.
(Check the day this word was posted and you will understand why I inserted such an arcane word.)
“Revulsion” (n.) means nausea, distaste, horror or loathing.
(I am getting dotty in my old age; I again repeated a word in my “Words of the Day” unit. Sorry.)