Some Words are Better Than Others

Fifty years of engineering have taught me the importance of the written word if nothing else.  There is actually a lot of writing involved in engineering, and precise definitions and clear instructions are of great importance.  In some cases, it can mean the difference between life and death.

And having now written three novels, I find wording continues to be of great interest to me.  So, I watch what “professional” writers write.  And, I tend to make fun of them.  Forgive me!

From the RELIGION/NATION page of the KITSAP SUN, Friday, July 10, 2015.

1 —  In an article titled “U.S. in haze from Canada’s fires” there is a reference to actions taken in the province of Alberta:

“Alberta said Wednesday it was bringing in 62 firefighters from Mexico to help battle 92 wildfires burning in the province, including 33 listed as out of control.”

My question:  what 33 are out of control, wildfires or Mexicans?  Why not say, “…33 fires listed as burning out of control.”  Does that use too much ink?

2 — And just below that is the heading of another article:  “Push to reduce dying fish stressed by heat.”

Now you have to admit that there is quite a bit of room for interpretation.  I mean really, if the fish are dying from the heat, they are already being reduced!  What would you do, turn up the heat?

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