Friday, June 18, 2004

Free the Peeves
Barbara Wallraff, the force behind Copy Editor newsletter, and the Word Court column, book and Web site has a new one -- Free the Peeves.

From the intro:
Our goal is tolerance -- tolerance of legitimate language eccentricities. The English-speaking world has unjustly adopted countless language and punctuation peeves as pets. Our work won't be done until all peeves are set free.

A noble goal. But be aware that Wallraff is dealing with copy editing across all forms, and so there is room for disagreement. For instance, proactive, she says, is a perfectly useful word. Indeed -- in some circumstances and for some publications it might be. But a news editor likely would -- and should -- cast a skeptical eye on it when it comes across in news copy.


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