In this column from the 1960s, Larry Ragan took issue with the way some words and phrases are used. More than 30 years have passed, yet we can’t help but agree. What would you add to the list?—ed
Currently. Even if the word means, as I assume it does, right now, for the time being. Writers of news releases are especially prone to say in their last paragraphs that the person whose promotion is described above, currently resides (and why it is “resides” instead of “lives” is one of those mysteries without solutions), at such-and-such address. The phrase suggests that he is now living on one side of the tracks but with his promotion he will waste no time in moving to the other side. Even worse, some writers will say that so-and-so is currently the manager of such-and-such department, clearly indicating that it is only a matter of time before the bosses catch up with him.
Eminent authorities. This phrase, which I find to my dismay in a classy pamphlet issued by The Conference Board, is a problem because it is hackneyed and raises more questions than it answers.
Can a person be an authority without being eminent? Your immediate reaction, I suspect, is that, yes, such a person is possible.