Monday, April 28, 2003

In the May/June issue of Communication Arts, the Letters section includes this diatribe:

Someone please tell Joel Nakamura (or better yet, CA’s snoozing editors) that it’s “dual,” meaning two counters, and not “duel” [January/February, p. 54].

Good God, nothing ruins a writer’s or professional journal’s credibility for me more than simple, third-grade-level word usage. Let’s get it together, people, you’re supposed to be better than this.

Steve Dreyer
Freddie Mac Design Studio
McLean, Virginia

Normally I find this kind of armchair grammatical nit-picking akin to comments overheard in art museums about the frames instead of the paintings within. If the written or spoken message gets across, then communication is achieved. Mr. Dreyer, in a letter that could lend a lesson from a good style guide itself, unintentionally points out that there are more than mechanics to good writing.



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