Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Think Progress and the English Language

Ian Millhiser wrote

"Of course, it remains to be seen whether Lee will begin to tow his party’s line-of-the-moment once he actually gets into the Senate and is pressured to join the GOP’s crusade against Obama’s judges." This sentence contains a typo which isn't just your garden variety typo. It was specifically denounced by George Orwell in "Politics and the English Language."
Dying metaphors.
Some metaphors now current have been twisted out of their original meaning without those who use them even being aware of the fact. For example, toe the line is sometimes written as tow the line. Another example is the hammer and the anvil, now always used with the implication that the anvil gets the worst of it. In real life it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer, never the other way about: a writer who stopped to think what he was saying would avoid perverting the original phrase.
I fear that Ian Millhiser has bean spending two much time around Matthew Iglesias.

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