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Breaking News: Sarah Palin’s Latest Child Is a Baby

29 Aug

While reading the Tennessean online, I came across an article about John McCain selecting Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.  The article gives a brief overview of Palin’s political/biographical background, ending with this final sentence:

She and her husband Todd Palin, have five children. The latest, a baby, was born with Down syndrome.

I find it so comforting to know that Palin’s latest child was a baby, and not, I don’t know, a chicken or an alien.  Rest assured people, the Tennessean has confirmed that Palin’s latest child was indeed a baby.  You can go back to your arguing over who would make a better president: Obama or McCain.  Thank you for your time.

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Word of the Day: Ambulate

1 Apr

Ambulate

Function: intransitive verb
Inflected Form(s): am·bu·lat·ed; am·bu·lat·ing
Etymology: Latin ambulatus, past participle of ambulare
Date: circa 1623
: to move from place to place : walk

Why would you use the word “ambulate” when the word “walk” will work just fine, especially if you have already used the word “walk” to set up the sentence in which you use the word “ambulate”? The word “ambulate” does not add anything to your writing. I know in grammar school, we were all taught to use descriptive language and replace words like “walk” with flowery synonyms like “saunter,” “stomp,” and “lumber.” However, if “walk” works just fine and gets your point across, then just use “walk.” Don’t try to replace it with some random word that most people will have look up in the dictionary anyway. It’s pointless.
People who use unnecessarily complicated words in an attempt to come across as well-read, well-educated, intelligent, or whatever are just plain annoying, not to mention bombastic, grandiloquent, and possibly supercilious.
Related:

Is this a new cancer treatment?

4 Dec

The following sentence is from an article written by a medical professional:

More importantly, the annual incidence of osteoporosis fractures is higher in prostate cancer patients treated with surgical or medical castration when compared to those treated without castration or with normal men.

This would be better:

More importantly, the annual incidence of osteoporosis fractures is higher in prostate cancer patients treated with surgical or medical castration when compared to those treated without castration or to men with no history of prostate cancer.

Now, wasn’t that easy? My work is done.