Language Lessons: In This Day-in-Age, Sort of Speak

Typebars in a 1920s typewriter

Language Lessons. … (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Communication in our society is littered with mangled phrases, as though most of the country learned colloquialisms via the telephone game. You know, like how “The eagle has landed” ends up as “The eager Icelandic.”

I used to work as a copy editor on the sports desk of an L.A.-area daily newspaper. We had one reporter who was notorious for hacking up the English language, and one night at work I’m reading one of his stories, and he actually wrote the phrase “Sort of speak.”

Sort of speak? I thought. What could he mea—




You know what he meant to say? “So to speak”!!!

I came across another good one today. This also was from a sports reporter (in this case ESPN)—I don’t know if just sports reporters that are horrible at this stuff, but anyway, this is how one sentence started:

In today’s day-in-age …

Seriously?!? If you really think that’s the proper term, Mr. Reporter, then please tell me: what exactly is a “day-in-age”? Because I have no idea what in the H-E-double-hockey-sticks that is. And why is it hyphenated? It looks like something the British like to do with river names: Stratford-upon-Avon.

Are you, perhaps, going for “day and age”? As in, “in the time in which we currently live”?

I thought so.

And P.S.: Where in the world are the editors on these articles? Really. Come on.

People, know what you’re saying before you say it.

Class dismissed. =)

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