- Richard Farr
Misplaced muddifiers – or, how to spell ‘hypocrite’ at the NYT
Biblical wisdom: before passing judgment on the specks in Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch’s writing, the New York Times should have extracted the planks from its own. But this morning, beneath a rather sniffy, “he’s not as bad as people say” article about his alleged stylistic deficiencies, there’s a picture of him. And the picture has a caption, quoting the text, which is a grade-school grammatical road accident. It intends to offer up the possibility that his prose has become “a glop of cutesy idioms … and garbled diction.” But “garbled” is right: what it incoherently says is that the reputation of his prose has become a glop of cutesy idioms and garbled diction.
Speaking as a novelist, they should try harder to get their modifiers right.