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Article

Junk English

Posted on

Junk English

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
Ken Smith
genre:
Nonfiction

We gave it an A-

”We made it. We can make it go away,” says Smith, whose Junk English is a compendium of all that’s bloated and blighted, redundant and ridiculous, in contemporary language. Using examples from various media, Smith explains why sloppy metaphors kill an idea (”the platforms on which the candidates ran were as calculated and artificial as plastic topiary”), strung-together nouns strangle a sentence (”focus group feedback analysis methodologies”), and the euphemisms of war are dishonest (”friendly fire=being shot at by your own troops”). Though he makes some negligible distinctions (is ”remarkable” really such a bad substitute for ”interesting”?), Smith exposes, in plain English, ”a world of humbug in which the more we read and hear, the less we know.”