Saturday, November 3, 2012

Rewriting the news

NPR reported on a NYC laundry (or dry cleaner) and how the owners were dealing with the storm’s aftermath.  When one owner went back to the building, the reporter told us he “entered with a vengeance”.  Now “vengeance” is so blatantly inappropriate that it’s funny but it’s easy enough to see how this happened – writer was on a deadline and thought the piece needed a bit of action.  And thus we get such a stumble.

But consider the alternatives:

“Vengeance on his mind, he entered the building.”

“It wasn’t revenge but true vengeance, he pondered while entering.”

“His entrance sparkled with vengeance.”

“The vengeance was softened by the entrance.”

“It was entrancing this entrance despite its vengeful vengeance.”

“He darted through the vengeance to enter.”

“Having had his fill of entrances he settled on trying vengeance.”

“His entrances were always imaginative and unpredictable; today riding a deep undertone of vengeance.”

“He entered with vengeance but left with contrition.”

“If he couldn’t protect the entrance you can be damn well sure he would avenge it.”