Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Oldie but goodie expanded ... respectively yours

OK, I've railed against the continued, to me extraneous, use of the word "respectively" in sports stories before:

"Jones and Smith finished with 17 and 15 points, respectively."

My argument is that readers aren't dumb, and from that construction, it's clear who scored what without the word. Every now and then you run across a case where it's needed; not in 99.9 percent of them.

Now there's another one that's driving me more nuts, in a sports writing sense.

"Jones and Smith led their respective teams to bowl games in 2007."

This is a 100 percent deal: What possible use does the word "respective" have in that construction. Answer: None.

Who else's team would they have led to bowl games?

But I'm seeing it all the time. I'd give another example, but that one says it all. And we should look to eradicate that completely unnecessary construction in 2009.

Time for change, and all that.

Speaking of change, I truly intend to start writing regularly here again after a number of false starts. So if you happen by here and see this, give me a look every now and then.

Happy election day.

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