Some kind of awful

Breaks don’t mean less reading for me. It’s non-academic stuff that I can enjoy consuming every day for a week at a time.

I read through a stack of magazines four inches high during Thanksgiving break. Among the trends I noticed were a slew of articles related to food and the future of cities. Then there was the trend that finds me writing this post: the aggravating employment of the word “some.”

I have no problem with a correct usage: Some of the phrases we use in our language came from the Bible.

Not: Some 54 scholars… Some 1000 feet of twine… Some 8400 snails…. Some 2.4 million headaches.

It was used this way a half dozen times in one National Geographic article. And in the eight or so subscriptions I get, “some” was used in this awful way in at least one article in every publication.

The Bible story was great, but “some 54 scholars” is the same as saying, “The robbers broke in around 6:31.” It’s an approximation used with a precise number.

Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 4th ed., lists the following:

some (sum) adj. 1 being a certain one or ones not specified or known

Although the word can also be written as an adverb meaning “approximately; about [some 10 men],” it is, precisely, icky.

Have journalists started using it this way to move away from words such as  “about” or “around”? Stop. It’s cute, and, therefore, putrid.

For the same reasons we default to “says” instead of the myriad options we possess, please, cease using the adverbial “some.”

I don’t want to see it. Not even some of the time.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Reporting Experiences. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s