Don’t you just hate it when newspapers use language that’s shabby and plainly lazy?
2 days ago I found myself browsing through a copy of the Wall Street Journal, during a train journey enroute to visit a friend and was astonished to encounter a word that violated my vocabularly so thoroughly, I wanted to puke;
It was neither slang nor a variant of authentic anglo-frisian. Wasn’t transcendant of the current literal or linguistic vibes in the vernacular; It wasn’t spiritual. Page 8 of the WSJ (the article on Syria) refers to “…the sounds of shells whooshed through the sky…” 😐
WHOOSHED!! C’mon!! even if Va-va-voom made it into the dictionary, with at least two traceable meanings, are we not getting a little bit carried away here? Isn’t it like trying to make vagazzle, or worse still fo shizzle ma nizzle into actual words. If you ask me, whooshed is little more than a swindled interpretation of an imperfect phonetic asculation, into text. A bastardization of a sound that should be left as it is. I mean, we haven’t tried to create a word for the sound chalk makes on a black board. Or the creak of a metal bottle top onto tarmarc? So, how appropriate (not that it need be, although this is WSJ we are talking, not NUTS Magazine) is the use of ‘whoosh’ in a sober context within an article outlining the state of affairs in a war zone, when illiteracy is such an issue with many of the younger generation, especially when certain sections of the media are probably partly to blame for such failings.
Also, i’d like to know how other languages transcribe this sound, when for example the english rooster’s cock-a-doodle-doo has virtually infinite dialects, to name a few kukarekú in Rusian, kokekokkō in Japanese, ake-e-ake-ake in Thai and kukruukuu in Hindi. And that’s before we even hit kukuriku in Hebrew or koekelekoe in Africaans.
Famous last words to the author at AP: Learn to write in English.
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