Mona Charen

Proofreadress also believes that I may be guilty of lapsing into politically incorrect ethnic characterizations without her watchful eye. So when she saw "Scotch," she reproved me. "Consider using the preferred term 'Scottish.'" I would. I truly would Proofie, but I was referring to the drink.

She doesn't approve, it won't surprise you to learn, of "strongman," either. But what is most confidence eroding is that Proofreadress doesn't understand what she's reading. In a column about the Susan G. Komen furor, she highlighted the word "service" and suggested that it was "jargon." "Consider rephrasing with 'serve' or 'repair,' if you are using 'service' as a verb." I was not. I was using it as a noun. I would never use it as a verb unless I intended the vulgar connotations it acquires as that part of speech. But wait. Shouldn't Proofreadress know it was a noun? Isn't she reading for grammar and spelling?

She doesn't even seem to read to the end of a sentence. In the Komen column, I had written, "But calculated as a percentage of revenue generated, abortion accounts for about a third of PP's business." Reaching only the word "percentage," Proofie objected. "Vague quantifier. Try 'part' or 'some' or give a specific percentage." Can she not read to the end of the sentence?

Proofreadress has a bias toward unadorned language, which is OK if you recognize it as a point of view. But not everyone should be obliged to emulate Hemingway. She recommends against the word "purchase." She finds it "complex." "Try," she admonishes, "rephrasing with a verb like 'buy.' She felt the same way about "materialized," preferring "happened," "turned up" or "developed."

No, thanks. I ran Lincoln's second inaugural past Proofie for fun. She was busy from the first sentence. "Countrymen" was a gender specific expression. "In regard to" was deemed "wordy."

Apple's language sentinel has been schooled in political correctness at the expense of English. In another column, I mentioned that the collapse of marriage was "aggravating" inequality in America. Consider "irritating" or "exasperating" instead, Proofreadress advised.

No, those are words I reserve for her.


Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
 
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