We've posted before on articles from Johnson, The Economist's blog on language. Saturday's post announced that The Economist's Style Guide is online again, and refers to several entries, including one on journalese and slang. Here's a taste:
Try not to be predictable, especially predictably jocular. Spare your readers any mention of mandarins when writing about the civil service, of their lordships when discussing the House of Lords, and of comrades when analysing communist parties. Must all stories about Central Asia include a reference to the Great Game? Must all lawns be manicured? Must all small towns in the old confederacy be called the buckle on the Bible belt? Are drug-traffickers inevitably barons? Must starlets and models always be scantily clad? Is there any other kind of wonk than a policy wonk?
Resist saying This will be no panacea. When you find something that is indeed a panacea (or a magic or silver bullet), that will indeed be news. Similarly, hold back from offering the reassurance There is no need to panic. Instead, ask yourself exactly when there is a need to panic.I'm looking forward to looking around the other entries.
The other new listing is Tom Murphy - Murphy's Law. Tom's most recent post is on grammar. It includes a story about his grandmother, a video clip of Stephen Fry talking about language purists, and a plea for plain, clear, English instead of buzzword madness:
Today well written, simple, plain English is the exception. Too often we descend to the lowest common denominator where we all proactively leverage robust, strategic solutions to global world-leading paradigm shifts.