Notes from the newsroom on grammar, usage and style. (Some frequently asked questions are here.)
After my recent lineup of sound-alike mix-ups, sharp-eyed readers and colleagues quickly offered examples to refill the file folder. The latest:
Of the 10 shots he attempted Monday, he made one, and on this night, as confetti swirled all around him, as he tussled Calipari’s hair and slapped hands with Kentucky cheerleaders, that mattered not even a little bit.
“Tussle” means “fight”; the word we wanted here is “tousled.”
“Instantaneously, she jumps up and starts wailing on him,’’ Mr. Noy said. “Punching him in the face, kicking, cursing. Soon as she saw the dude, she started fighting him. Then he kicks back.’’
The colloquial verb meaning “beat, thrash” is “whale.”
But the grueling operations extracted a heavy physical and psychological toll, said Rachele Bonani, an aid worker who helped her.
It seems that we meant “exacted,” not “extracted.”
Style Point: ‘Crowdsourcing’
We’ve been inconsistent till now. Use “crowdsourcing,” with no hyphen, for the practice of soliciting ideas or information from a large group or online community. The term was apparently coined by analogy to “outsourcing,” which also takes no hyphen.
Let’s not overuse it, though; “crowdsourcing” and especially the verb “crowdsource” have a jargony tone. We should be even more sparing with newer spinoff terms like “crowdfunding.”
In a Word
This week’s grab bag of grammar, style and other missteps, compiled with help from colleagues and readers.
In the following months, the administration increased efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions through environmental regulations, gave states waivers from federal mandates if they agreed to education overhauls, and refocused deportation policy in a way that in effect granted relief to some illegal immigrants brought to the country as children….