Friday, August 19, 2011
I'm hitting the road again this Sunday. Philadelphia-thereabouts-bound, in the service of putting one word after the other until I've amassed enough to fill a picture history book on the topic of interest. Before I go, though, I'm scrambling to finish up one project and clear my in-box of the most immediate demands of another.
This latter project has been particularly irksome, a copy editing project for a regional art magazine that pays its writers well, but which doesn't seem to get much in return. At least not for the main features of this issue. Here's what I had to wrangle into some semblance of sense in just two articles alone (Czar, shut your eyes; you've seen these):
“photography studios filled with a cacophony of tools to wrestle the perfect lighting through the lens”
“Zen principles carried out with eerie contemporariness”
“Kyoto emanating an enticing atmosphere that is serene and calm”
“introspective cave encouraging a reflective inner experience”
And a description of a house as “stone grounding connection to earth at the feet"
With the remaining work, I'm not running into bad phrasing so much as terrible, awful, hellacious word choices. I never thought it possible to actually hate certain words, but, really; I'd like to see us all take a break from using the following any time soon, either in conversation or on the written page. Like, 8-10 years ought to do it. Maybe forever.
Eclectic (I get it, it's unique and quirky. Now, go find another word.)
Synchronicity (I hate it when Sting sings it, I hate it when it's used to describe a relationship, I hate it, period.)
Predilection (There's just something creepy about how this word sounds, like a pervert licking his fingers over a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken.)
Penchant (Because I always pronounce it pen–shaunt in my head and that's just ridiculous.)
Munificent (I'm totally okay if you write "really generous"—really.)
Recherche (Rare, but here's one I can't pronounce at all.)
Magical (Perhaps my most un-favorite word of all time, especially when used to describe a painting, sunset, convergence of body mind and spirit, and/or the sensation you feel when confronted with said paintings, sunsets, and convergences, and therefore my number one choice for banishment from the English language forever and ever, amen.)
Come on, help me compile an anti-dictionary: if you could strike one word from the English language, what would it be?