Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Long, Slow Death of English Prose Style, Continued

The adverb "arguably" is inarguably one of the most horseshit words in journalism. It means "a sweeping generalization is needed here, but I'm too lazy to google the supporting facts, so arguably will cover my butt."

This evening on NBC's Nightly News, we heard an "arguably" for the ages. In a segment on the legal problems of Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), the reporter intoned "the indictment is arguably the low point of his 40-year political career."

Arguably? What the hell are the other contenders? Did Stevens once throw up on a Cabinet secretary?


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