Words – part the second

In which the author (that’s me) writes about writing. 

I’ve posted previously on my love of language. I enjoy reading good works. Currently working through Bill Bryson’s Shakespeare. It’s early days, but looks like another classic from the Thunderbolt Kid. 

Anyway, this isn’t a book review. This is more of a rant. I don’t just enjoy reading good language. I enjoy writing it. Or at least trying to. I plod through this blog, I’ve contributed to a few other websites, I’ve written policy documents, briefing notes, and a number of speeches. Most of the stuff I’ve done has been voluntary, but not all. I guess you could call me demi-semi-professional. 

Which is why I get frustrated with all the poor writing that’s out there. I don’t mean cheap cheesy novels, or tabloid journalism. I’m not even talking about the grocer’s apostrophe

I’m talking about the poor use of language. The making of ill-thought-out statements. A classic example of which I saw on Twitter a few days ago. 

US State Department on Twitter


If you can’t read that very clearly from my screen grab, it reads 

U.S. Special Rep. for Int’l Labor Affairs Barbara Shailor: It’s Time To Stop the Exploitation of Children 

Now, I don’t disagree with the sentiment. I’m not pro-exploitation. I’d rather well-paid adults working in good conditions made my clothes. What bothers me about it is the fact that Ms Shailor, her staff, or someone in the State Department thought ‘It’s time to stop the exploitation of Children’ was a good phrase. 

Is it only time now? As if it wasn’t time to stop children being exploited a month ago, a year ago, a decade ago, a century ago? It reads as if she’s just discovered there’s a child exploitation problem in the last couple of days. I can see these blogs become a series.


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