Thursday, September 8, 2011

Eight syllables

How a bright college freshman might say it: “This legislation must be implemented with the utmost diligence.” Ponderous, ponderous.

How President Obama said it: “You should pass this bill right away.” (And variations thereupon.)

“It is a general truth that short words are not only handier to use, but more powerful in effect; extra syllables reduce, not increase, vigour”: H.W. Fowler, A Dictionary of Modern English Usage (1926).

And yes, they should pass this bill right away.

comments: 2

Elaine said...

I thought it a great speech! Only thing missing: "Call Your Congressman and Senators. You should do this right away."

Michael Leddy said...

I think that’s what’s coming as he visits states.