I wish I’d waited a bit to write about elongated yellow fruit and fluffy white stuff. Since then, a few close calls have come my way.
From a student’s story about a controversial Louis Vuitton display on Red Square:
Half a year ago, the square hosted a Dior fashion show; the rent the apparel maker paid was so high nobody seemed to care about offending the square’s past.
As if everybody didn’t know anyway, it’s clear from fashion show that Dior is an apparel maker. Here it’s safe to repeat Dior.
From another student:
Netflix never partners up with other in-market local companies. When the streaming website enters a new country, it bets on its own branding to attract subscribers.
The writer had already identified Netflix as such high in the story. Rather than repeat the phrase, she could have simply replaced Netflix with a pronoun:
When it enters a new country, it bets on its own branding to attract subscribers.
When the company enters a new country, it bets on its own branding to attract subscribers.
As I said, these are close calls and do not deserve derisive laughter. But this recent post on jimromenesko.com clearly pointed up the absurdities of elegant variations and needless definitions:
From a TCPalm.com “Off the Beat” crime story:
Ir reminded me of the time, 20-some years ago, I overheard the slot (that’s copy chief, for those who didn’t take my jargon quiz during orientation) in The Times’s Style department tell a guest editor, “You don’t need to define arugula on this desk.”
The pizza reporter later explained that defining everyday words was part of his style. At this stage, it probably shouldn’t be part of yours.