To: Lucky staffers
From: Glossed Over
Lately, a number of you have been failing to use resources
writers should be familiar with—we’re thinking of dictionaries, thesauruses,
and co-workers—when seeking words to describe the multitude of products you come across every day. We understand that coming up with a fresh
description for each of the dozens of pairs of shoes you encounter must be challenging.
Still, that’s no excuse for flat-out making up words.
Although you must surely already know this (you did all
graduate from high school, yes?), we’d like to take this opportunity to remind
staff members that adding –y or –ish to a noun does not make it an
adjective. Also, the origins of the –ify construction are highly
specious, and should not be used to make up new words when perfectly acceptable
terms that mean the exact same thing already exist.
In the December issue alone, we found the following
We must request that you stop this practice immediately, lest
your readers develop stress-related aneurysms from trying to parse these
too-imaginative constructions. Worse, these ungodly
verbal creations may catch on with the general populace, resulting in
“youthifying” skin creams and “loungier” pajamas overtaking the market. (Not to mention the horrible prospect of
“flea market-y” being bandied about freely in conversation—we don’t even know what that means.) If
finding appropriate descriptors is too difficult for the staff, we suggest Lucky use the J. Crew catalog as a model and consider a shift to a text-free, all-pictures version.
Your cooperation is appreciated.