Friday, September 23, 2011

The Joy of Prose

Andrew Ferguson is an evil genius.

On Tom Friedman:

As a writer, Mr. Friedman is best known for his galloping assaults on Strunk and White's Rule No. 9: "Do Not Affect a Breezy Manner." "The World Is Flat" & Co. were cyclones of breeziness, mixing metaphors by the dozens and whipping up slang and clichés and jokey catchphrases of the author's own invention. (The flattened world was just the beginning.) The breeziness would accelerate into great gusts of rhetoric about "an America we could be . . . an America we once were . . . an America we can be again," as though the author were poking fun at a slightly drunk Ted Sorensen.
May his volcanic island secretly pen many submarines.
The slovenliness of our language, George Orwell wrote, makes it easier to have foolish thoughts, and while Mr. Friedman's language has been tidied up a bit, the thinking remains what it has always been.