Why have media professionals stopped using "of'?
I have a huge pet peeve. I have noticed a trend of late, that I believe may have started through blogging and social media platforms, but now seems to be heavily pervasive in use among mainstream broadcasters & journalists. And it is this, many journalists and reporters have stopped using the preposition "of" when formulating a phrase.
"We suggest trying a variety of cardiovascular type exercises...."
What?! Shouldn't "type" be plural in this example? Why are they dropping the "of", or any other preposition in their phrasing?
It's only one example, but I hear similar wording on TV and see it in writing almost daily.
Actually, the example you cite is marginally more correct than the usage you prefer.
We suggest trying a variety of cardiovascular types of exercises. This sentence suffers from an overuse of prepositions. The Chicago Manual of Style (at 5.183) tells us "Prepositions can easily be overused. Stylistically, a good ratio to strive for is one preposition for every ten to fifteen words." In many cases, the prepositional phrase is a weak usage. We can usually find a stronger way to say the same thing. The cyclist pedaled with fury is weak compared to the cyclist pedaled furiously.
In avoiding the unnecessary prepositional "of" phrase, the newsreader introduced a different kind of stylistic error. We suggest trying a variety of cardiovascular-type exercises. (notice the hyphen used in the compound adjective cardiovascular-type). While adding the suffix "-type" has its place in the lexicon, it too has become overused. In 9 out 10 cases, it can be omitted without changing or losing meaning.
We suggest trying a variety of cardiovascular exercises.
I hope this helps.
|link||edited Sep 18 '12 at 15:04 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow|
Hero of the day
Person asked the most questions.