Class Warfare Blog

October 17, 2019

Oh, My Poor Language!

Filed under: language — Steve Ruis @ 9:33 am
Tags: ,

A recent headline in The Guardian stated “Arizona home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright before his death sells for $1.7m.”

Now I am somewhat of a fan of architecture and I know of Frank Lloyd Wright, but weren’t all of his houses designed before he died (his homes were the ones he lived in)? Surely, it would have been the looked for evidence of the supernatural were he to have designed one after he had died.

In the text of the article it became clear that this was “the last home” designed by Mr. Wright. Could not the headline writer have written “Frank Lloyd Wright’s last home sells for $1.7m?” Or if it was the last house he designed (surely not) it could have been “Last house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright sells for $1.7m?”

Seems the English language has fallen upon hard times.

20 Comments »

  1. Funny – English as she was spoke.
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Arkenaten — October 17, 2019 @ 10:29 am | Reply

  2. American-usage, yes, it’s abhorrent, and getting worse. Doing videos for NYT’s and Forbes has become an exercise in interpretation, not translation.

    Like

    Comment by john zande — October 17, 2019 @ 11:56 am | Reply

  3. The sad thing is the majority of people didn’t/wouldn’t notice the wording.

    Like

    Comment by Nan — October 17, 2019 @ 1:04 pm | Reply

    • That has always been the case, but if the level of acceptable usage changes too quickly only confusion will result. (Change is good, change is normal, rapid change is not desired.)

      On Thu, Oct 17, 2019 at 1:04 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

      >

      Like

      Comment by Steve Ruis — October 17, 2019 @ 1:51 pm | Reply

  4. Linguistic sloppiness seems to be a watch-word these days among the subbies who get the job of concocting the tag-lines. Though I think the Guardian is likely one of the less egregious in this sense – some of the headers that emerge where I am in New Zealand are cringe-worthy.

    Like

    Comment by Matthew Wright — October 17, 2019 @ 2:27 pm | Reply

  5. Alas, the job of editor no longer seems to exist, at least not in the traditional sense of the word. It used to be the job of the editor to review all material before its publication, check syntax, accuracy, etc., rewrite where necessary, edit for length and clarity, and then send it off for actual publication. Unfortunately that’s no longer the case. It is now assumed that the reader won’t even remember the article 24 hours from now, so at a lot of media outlets it is considered a waste of time to proofread and correct material before it gets published. It’s usually dumped straight out to the web as soon as its submitted. The editor’s job now seems to be little more than write up shocking and controversial headlines and taglines to generate page clicks.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by grouchyfarmer — October 17, 2019 @ 4:36 pm | Reply

    • There has been a “Big Crunch” in the publishing business with a great many of the older job descriptions now being help by individuals. One of my publishers pays for cross training, but then, they are employee owned.

      At least they still have jobs.

      On Thu, Oct 17, 2019 at 4:36 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

      >

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — October 18, 2019 @ 9:14 am | Reply

      • Except for local weekly small town papers, virtually every daily newspaper in the state is owned by a well known “national newspaper monopoly”. One of the first things they did when they took over the daily papers in small cities was immediately fire almost the entire staff, including the reporters and editors. Local reporting is almost nonexistent, and what there is of it is being done by local freelancers who aren’t technically on staff at all. There is generally a half page of local news, one page of local sports, and the rest is advertising or material cloned from the national paper. Sigh…

        Like

        Comment by grouchyfarmer — October 18, 2019 @ 5:02 pm | Reply

  6. I agree. People need to be careful about what they say. Here’s something that somebody said to me awhile back that still makes me cringe when I read it:
    “I am interested in sharing ideas. I am not interested in a debate to determine if my ideas are ‘correct’ or not.”

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by John Branyan — October 17, 2019 @ 5:41 pm | Reply

    • Yeah, I agree with that person (I should!). Debates are an inefficient method of sharing information. First they are oppositional in nature. Second, they have little in the way of structure that makes sense. Third, they do not necessarily have the people best suited to each position. Back in the pre-TV days, people in Midwestern America often met in barns on the weekend and entertained themselves with debates.That seems a suitable use of such things, certainly not as a serious mode of spreading ideas or vetting ideas. (Note that debates are not part of the communication structures of any of the sciences, for example.)

      On Thu, Oct 17, 2019 at 5:41 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

      >

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — October 18, 2019 @ 9:18 am | Reply

      • I won’t debate you on any of these points. I’ve no interest in determining whether you’re right or wrong.

        Like

        Comment by John Branyan — October 18, 2019 @ 10:56 am | Reply

        • Good, then we agree.

          On Fri, Oct 18, 2019 at 10:56 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

          >

          Like

          Comment by Steve Ruis — October 18, 2019 @ 11:51 am | Reply

          • We agree that debate is pointless when you don’t care about truth.

            Like

            Comment by John Branyan — October 18, 2019 @ 12:01 pm | Reply

            • No, debate is pointless, period. It is a little like a weightlifting contest. One person lifts more weight than another and “wins.” So what? If someone “wins” a debate … so what? Does that mean their ideas were better or more “true”?

              On Fri, Oct 18, 2019 at 12:01 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

              >

              Like

              Comment by Steve Ruis — October 18, 2019 @ 12:15 pm | Reply

              • I get it, Steve. You’ve been saying it all along. It doesn’t matter who lifts the most weight. The contest is meaningless.

                What you’re still failing to grasp is that you undermine your own position every time you write about it. 🙂

                Like

                Comment by John Branyan — October 18, 2019 @ 12:31 pm | Reply

              • …And it’s always the losers who say “so what?” at the end of a contest.

                Like

                Comment by John Branyan — October 18, 2019 @ 12:34 pm | Reply

                • Who said this is a contest? Did I miss something?

                  Like

                  Comment by Nan — October 18, 2019 @ 1:44 pm | Reply

                  • “…debate is pointless, period. It is a little like a weightlifting contest.” – Steve Ruis

                    Like

                    Comment by John Branyan — October 18, 2019 @ 2:00 pm | Reply

                    • … “like a weightlifting contest” is a simile, not a statement. You lose.

                      Like

                      Comment by Nan — October 18, 2019 @ 2:20 pm

                    • So what?

                      Like

                      Comment by John Branyan — October 18, 2019 @ 2:21 pm


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