Meaning: a slight objection or criticism.
Synonyms: minor criticism, trivial objection, trivial complaint, adverse comment, protest, query, argument, exception, moan, grumble, grouse.
Example: But these are the quibbles of envy. I wish I had the editorial chops to produce such an authoritative guide myself. As Evans shows, the consequences of foggy prose can be grave, ranging from missed Social Security benefits to tragic military accidents to the Great Recession, which “had roots in misbegotten nomenclature.
Meaning: the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.
Example: The menacing spread, starting last Friday, of the malicious software WannaCry, which has since infected thousands of computer systems in 150 countries, is a frightening reminder of the vulnerabilities of a connected world.
Meaning: relating to or contained in the Bible.
Example: THE earliest known description of surrogacy is an ugly biblical story: in Genesis, the childless Sara sends her husband to bed with her maidservant, Hagar, and takes the child as her own.
Meaning: Acting or done quickly with little or inadequate thought.
Synonyms: impetuous, hasty, headlong, precipitate
Example: DONALD TRUMP rules over Washington as if he were a king and the White House his court. His displays of dominance, his need to be the centre of attention and his impetuousness have a whiff of Henry VIII about them.
Meaning: authorized or generally accepted theory, doctrine, or practice.
Synonyms: doctrine, belief, conviction, creed, dogma, credo, theory, view, idea, tenet, teaching, practice, received wisdom, article of faith.
Example: Just as dangerous, and no less important to ordinary Americans, however, is Mr Trump’s plan for the economy. It treats orthodoxy, accuracy and consistency as if they were simply to be negotiated away in a series of earth-shattering deals.
Meaning: public condemnation of someone or something.
Example: Obviously, U.S. President Donald Trump’s repeated denunciations of the Iran nuclear deal could add fuel to charges by hard-liners that Mr. Rouhani is too close to the West.
Meaning: a set of principles concerned with the nature and appreciation of beauty.
Example: “Writing well is not a mere matter of aesthetics; it is a “moral issue.” In fact, if I were the current occupant of the White House, I would take on this issue by appointing Sir Harold to be our nation’s Good Writing Tsar. Or Czar.
Meaning: excessively lengthy or technical speech or writing.
Synonyms: verbosity, verboseness, padding, wordiness, prolixity, prolixness, superfluity, redundancy, long-windedness, lengthiness, protractedness, discursiveness, expansiveness, digressiveness, convolution, circumlocution, circuitousness, rambling, wandering.
Example: Rewriting some Clinton Global Initiative verbiage about empowering women, for example, Evans ends up with this terse sentence: “Girls could increase global G.D.P. by as much as 5.4 percent.
Meaning: using or of the nature of a euphemism.
Synonyms: polite, substitute, mild, understated, softened, indirect, neutral, evasive, diplomatic, coded, newspeak, vague, inoffensive, genteel
Example: The fun begins to flag, however, when Evans invites us into what he calls his “sentence clinic.” There we are suffered to see him in editorial action, applying his surgical tools to specimens of bloated, dull, euphemistic, incomprehensible prose: newspaper articles, academic writing and, later, at coruscating length, the entire 2010 White House report on the “underwear bomber” (Evans’s analysis/reworking of this document occupies nearly 50 pages).
Meaning: a person who steers a ship or boat.
Example: Now in his late 80s, Evans emerged from a working-class Welsh family in the provincial north of England to make his reputation as an ambitious young newspaperman. From 1967 to 1981 he was helmsman of The Sunday Times of London, which he turned into a powerhouse of investigative journalism.
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