Tom Mangan’s Banned for Life

“This page is devoted to those expressions so hackneyed and insufferable that they should be forever banned from the nation’s news reports.”

from Tom Mangan’s Banned for Life

Mangan is a bit of a crab, and on the curt side, but for all of the right reasons. Since this is the “holiday season” here is a relevant entry from November 17:

Rounding the Corner

Holidays bring out the trite in writers everywhere. What say we banish this banality for all time:

“Christmas is just around the corner.”

The fact that I removed a “Tis the season” from a story just yesterday tells me my work is not done here.

Posted by tmangan at 11:32 AM

He also has an ongoing list of his “most hated expressions” which should be printed on a magnet and posted on every writer’s refrigerator. Here they are:

  • ” ‘Tis the Season” at Christmas.
  • Campaign “war chests.”
  • Downpours that “couldn’t dampen the spirits” of all those upon whom the rain fell.
  • “Play in Peoria” in any story or headline relating to the central Illinois town of my birth.
  • “The good news is …. the bad news is….”

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    About Ray Watkins

    I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. I grew up in Houston, as a part of what we only half-jokingly call the Cajun Diaspora. At a certain point during the Regan administration, I had to leave, so I served in the Peace Corps, Philippines, from 1987-89. I didn't want to return to the United States just yet, so I moved to Paris, France, where I lived for three years or so. I then moved back to Austin, Texas, where I had received my Masters Degree, and (eventually) began a Ph.D., which I completed in 1999. I spent a year at Temple University and then accepted a position at Eastern Illinois University where I worked until May of 2006. I now work exclusively on line (although that may change) for Johns Hopkins, the Art Institute Online, and Smarthinking.com. I can be reached most easily via email: raywatkins [that 'at' symbol] writinginthewild.com

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