Thursday, February 7, 2008

Preferential Editing

I certainly have my favorite words: plethora, for example, just makes me smile. And there are words I dislike, though I'm not as obsessed with them as,say,the gang who hates the word "moist." But there's a discussion going on over at the ACES board that I find a little perturbing. John McIntyre first noted it.

What bothers me is this: there's room for discussion of words we hate, personally, and then there's arbitrarily removing them. The latter is called preferential editing and it's inappropriate. Editors chiming in on the original posting correctly identify a lot of trite, useless or cop-talk kinds of words they want to eliminate. They are right. I'd wonder about the editors if they didn't get rid of the words.

But here's what started the conversation:

I loathe the word "gubenatorial" (sic) and rewrite around it every time I see it.

Do you have any words like that ... like fingernails on a chalkboard for you?

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