Every word should earn its keep

As mentioned in previous posts, one of my many bugbears is the use of words in news stories that don't earn their keep. Flowery language is OK, even welcome on gossip pages, or blogs, but not in news.

JD and I keep a selection of these redundancies in our black museum; some have been published here. But this very day I was presented with: "He had lent his licence temporarily." The OED confirms that lend means: "grant to someone the use of something on the understanding that it will be returned". The redundant qualifier was duly chucked over the side.

I was happier, the story was happier, the author didn't notice the difference. Which is why they pay JD and I a pittance to ply our trade in the engine room.


Terry said...

Right. So what are you going to do about distinguishing between a temporary loan, a long-term loan and the sort of "permanent loan" that is common when giving something valuable to a museum?

JD (The Engine Room) said...

Terry, although I agree with the gist of your comment, I think most people would assume that a loan is temporary unless there is evidence to suggest otherwise. Therefore it may be necessary to say 'permanent loan' where it would be unnecessary to say 'temporary loan'. Without having the full context of Apus' quote, it is difficult to say whether this is the case here.