Twisted turns of phrase

Liz Evans, crime reporter at The York Dispatch, had this to say:

I have two nominations for Banned For Life that have graduated to running-joke status in The York (Pa.) Dispatch newsroom:

  • “He/she was just turning his/her life around.”
    Without fail, each teenage crack dealer gunned down on a street corner (or person who died while driving drunk, etc.) was just about to get his life together, grieving family members insist. Our newsroom has determined the surgeon general should warn gangstas that turning things around could be dangerous to their health.
  • “(Something) went awry,” or occasionally even “horribly awry.”
    A certain Central Pennsylvania newspaper loves to use this giggle-worthy phrase in headlines. Puh-leeze.

2 thoughts on “Twisted turns of phrase

  1. How about the word “Basically”. Well ‘basically’he drove through the puddle and soaked me. ‘basically’I was lost. Please tell the Court what you witnessed? ‘well Basically’…, What sort of day did you have?, ‘basically it was…. This word is overused and rarely in context. Why can’t people just say ‘well I was lost’ etc, the listener already knows an essential/fundamental fact is being imparted without this ‘worthless embellishment’.

  2. I retired a year ago after 34 years of teaching. This word “basically” had me tearing my hair hundreds of times per week. If it was used orally, the student had to correct the statement made. I warned my students that if they used this word, their written manuscript would sail through the window into the parking lot below. Although I never carried out my threat, I did try to educate them that the term was being misused unless they were describing or explaining the “basis” of a concept or thing. Some did get the message, others didn’t care.