Cutting Slack

Rather than fostering some new sense of civic unity, the virus is just as likely to worsen inequality further [my bolding].

(Farhad Manjoo, “San Francisco Beat the Virus. But It’s Still Breaking My Heart,” NYTimes, 5-13-20)

Calling out infelicities of style is a chancy job. It makes a man thoughtful… and a little lonely. Some thoughts fly, some don’t. As my friend the helicopter pilot says, “It’s all a numbers game. You go up safe X times, come down safe X times. On good days X is even.”

“Worsen” repels furthering. Once worse, a thing’s augmented badness wants gauging with a different stick. Good style dictates a pivot to “increase.”

Saying the virus is just as likely to “increase” inequality works, because it introduces a spiraling potentiality for alpha-periphrasis around intensifiers such as “abysmal,” “abject,” and the ever-popular “apocalyptic.”

Wait. If inequality is trained now on apocalyptic levels, is “worsen…further” really out of bounds? I’m inclined to cut it some slack. America’s virus one-ups the rule book today.

(c) 2020 JMN

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
This entry was posted in Commentary, Quotations and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.