Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Free plug: I love The Economist

We've been receiving The Economist on and off for a few years.  It describes itself as a newspaper; here in the U.S. it would be called a news magazine because of it's format.  Regardless, I love reading it.  It's only drawback for me is that I have difficulty finding the time to read it all.  Yep, even old retired guys have time constraints. 

Today I discovered a great part of their website:  the style section.  Not only do they do a great job of suggesting ways of improving one's writing, they do it with, ... wait for it..., style.  Sorry, couldn't help myself!  Spicing things up are some of the quotes from great writers:  "In general, be concise. Try to be economical in your account or argument (“The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out”—Voltaire)."  My God, how I wish some people I know would read and take to heart that quote from Voltaire!  The only section that troubles me is the part insisting on British spellings:  labour, etc.  But that is a quibble.  It is, of course, a British publication. 

What I like most about it is that it covers the entire world.  American news magazines are too U.S. centric for my taste.  I like hearing what is happening in Uganda or Ecuador; I like reading about Renault's business even though they don't sell cars in this country.  The world is getting smaller by the minute and I want to know as much about it as my limited intelligence will let me grasp.

One last quote from the style section:  "Keep complicated constructions and gimmicks to a minimum, if necessary by remembering the New Yorker's comment: “Backward ran sentences until reeled the mind.”"

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