Thursday, June 29, 2006

Windy words for quantities

I hear numerous things in broadcast copy that make my want to tear my hair out multiple times. And that would include the words "numerous" and "multiple."

I was reminded of this in an excellent "Grammar Corner" column by Mrs. B in today's NewsBlues, on the subject of keeping "cop-talk" out of our stories. (Sorry, the content in the grammar link changes from day to day, so if you're reading this after today, you're out of luck.) "Numerous" and "multiple" weren't on the list, but both words are a classic instance that brings to mind George Orwell's dictum, "Never use a long word where a short one will do."

"Several" and "many" fill the bill quite nicely.

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