My pet hates: the word 'new'

All subs have their bugbears or pet hates, and one of mine is the misuse of the word 'new'. For example, London free newspaper Metro today carries a small science story saying that:

Cannabis has new healing properties - it can treat severe eczema and other skin complaints.

Er, yes, cannabis probably does have those properties, but I doubt they are new. They're just newly discovered.

And when the word 'new' is appropriate, the papers seem reluctant to use it. Also today, the Mirror talks about "Paris Hilton's new-style humility" since being released from prison. What, as opposed to her old-style humility?

Update: just thought of another example. In our work, Apus and I often come across phrases such as 'manufacturer X is launching a new product'. Well, if the product is just being launched, it's probably safe to assume that it's new...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I haven't read this but I hate it when papers print what usually ends up to be poor quality research. If I find said research I'll appraise it.

The subjects are probably too spaced out to remember to itch themselves, hence improving their eczema!