Tuesday 1 August 2023

Grammar: Clichés 8

Museum staff say "we dust our storerooms".

Please, please can we stop calling manuscripts ‘dusty’ and ‘hidden’ in archives. Archivists ensure that they’re not one or the other, which is how we historians get to see them in the first place. It’s a lazy and inaccurate cliché that also manages to be insulting.
(Suzannah Lipscomb @sixteenthCgirl)

Lost 1,000-year-old Hebrew Bible found on dusty Cairo synagogue shelf.

“Grainy footage” is a cliché, right up there with tapes that “languish” in “dusty vaults”. (Rob Chapman, author of Ad Lib: Repeat to Fade)

Queen Victoria by Sir Alfred Gilbert, produced for her Golden Jubilee in 1887, now living in a dusty corner of Winchester's Great Hall. (@lukecoring)

According to media articles, archaeologists are surprised, stunned, bewildered, shocked. But why can we never be pleased or happy? Just because we didn't know something was there doesn't mean we aren't excited to see it. (@Anarchaeologist)

Baffled. That's what we usually are, according to the media. (@AndreCosto)

No, BBC Breakfast, documents in archives are not ‘discovered’ by researchers. The archivists already know they’re there. (@CAPittard)

‘Exceptional' 15th-Century Ming Dynasty bowl unearthed at US yard sale. (If the owner wanted to sell it, why did they bury it?)

This week, as the water drained out, a safe, discarded iphone, hoover, trolleys, dozens of tyres, office chair, PC, and tens of thousands of plastic bags were unearthed. (Canalrivertrust.org.uk. The objects were unwatered – how about “came to light”? or “were revealed”?)

And if the object is mended and cleaned before going on display, please avoid the words "painstaking" and "former glory".

Why must science verbs be so butch?

Monsoon clouds “dump” unprecedented amounts of rain. (Week 2021, shed)

Phosphorus hurled out by volcanic plumes could interact with the clouds of sulphuric acid in Venus’s atmosphere to form phosphine. (The Week, 2021, ejected, expelled)

Heavy and slow-moving thundery showers triggered flooding. (The Week. I think it’s safe to say that showers caused flooding.)

Heavy snow and freezing rain is set to batter the UK this week. (The Week. Storms batter the country, waves batter the coast, but snow and freezing rain? Afflict? Hit? Affect? Strike?) 

Peat bogs and waterspouts don’t take in, ingest, or inhale, they suck or gulp. Volcanoes and geysers don’t emit or exhale but belch, spew or burp. I usually prefer Anglo-Saxon over French or Latin, but these verbs are getting stale.

The south-facing wall sucks up the last of the sun’s rays. (Springwatch. Couldn’t it absorb them?)

Meanwhile, it sucks down Amazon adverts from the cloud. (Steven Poole, Guardian 2013, draws down)

Climate-heating carbon dioxide will be sucked from the air using trees, peat, rock chips and charcoal in major new trials across the UK. (Guardian, May 2021)

Does the world need millions of machines sucking carbon dioxide directly out of the air to beat the climate crisis? (Guardian, Sept 2021)

This environmental catastrophe involves sucking millions of tons of small fish out of the sea and crushing them into fish oil and dry feed for farmed fish, pigs and chicken. (Isabel Oakeshott, Sunday Times, 2014, extracting)

Powerful waterspouts suck water up from the sea. (Youtube)

The author skilfully avoids the situation that is too frequently found with academic writing – the application of overly dense, convoluted rhetoric that can sadly suck the life and intrigue out of fascinating subjects
(Andy Paciorek, Fortean Times. Apt – think of vampires.)

Icelandic volcano erupts, spewing lava and smoke. Volcano in Iceland continues to spew lava. Volcano spews lava and gases. Incredible footage shows lave spewing from volcano in Iceland. (Youtube. Eject? Perhaps the volcano could spit for a change.)

In space everything hurtles.

Hurtle toward the far reaches of the universe with the space Vikings of the future! (Poster for Riders to the Stars, 1954

A black hole with a mass 20 million times that of our sun is hurtling through space at a million miles an hour after being ejected from its galaxy. (Times April 2023)

As the Sun and its surrounding planets hurtle through the galaxy, this bubble buffets against the interstellar medium like an invisible shield, keeping out the majority of harmful cosmic rays and other material. (Bbc.com, speed, move)

'Out-of-control' piece of a Chinese rocket is hurtling back to Earth and no-one knows where it will land. (gloucestershirelive.co.ukplummeting, falling)

The test sent 1,500 pieces of debris hurtling through space. (The Week, zooming)

OK, you can hurtle at high speeds.

Nasa has announced plans to send a spacecraft hurtling into an asteroid at 15,000mph to change its path in the US space agency’s first “planetary defence” test. (Time magazine)

More than 1,500 pieces of debris were hurtling towards them at up to 17,500mph(The Week)

More here, and links to the rest.

No comments:

Post a Comment