Monday, January 16, 2023

Quote of the Day -- Scott Simon

George Orwell’s 1946 essay, “Politics and the English Language,” cautioned against writing with cliches or academic, corporate, scientific and polemical jargon. He believed such language doesn’t communicate, elucidate or inform. It simply strings together pre-approved phrases to sound important.

I therefore offer a vow for 2023: 

I will try not to say “skill set” when I mean skills. Or “optics” unless I’m talking about how a camera works. Or “granular” unless its sand or salt. I will try not to call a 5-minute radio story a “deep dive” unless it’s about scuba diving. I won’t say “unpack” unless it’s in reference to a suitcase, or “price point” when I just mean what something costs, or “baked in” unless it’s a chocolate chip cookie. I won’t say “inflection point” when I mean a change in direction, or “curate” when I just mean put together. I won’t say “end of the day” until 6 p.m. And I’ll try not to call almost any group of people with something in common a “community” — Merriam-Webster: People with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society — unless, of course, they’re actually living together, or at least close by.

-- Scott Simon


Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy. -- From NPR Bio page.

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