Many publications provide their writers with “style sheets,” a list of dos and don’ts with respect to things like diction, punctuation, grammar, and linguistic etiquette. My personal list of “dos” includes the Oxford comma (apples, oranges, and pears: that last comma is requisite) and, in most cases, using the singular masculine pronoun after collective nouns like “everyone” and “someone” (e.g., “Everyone likes to have his [not ‘their’] own way”).
Style sheet prescriptions (and proscriptions) can be more elaborate, and can affect substantive as well as stylistic matters. Over the last year or so, I have noticed an innovation, at once stylistic and substantive, that has taken root throughout the regime media. It is this: whenever referring to Donald Trump and the 2020 presidential election, be sure to insert editorial comments to the effect that any concerns about the fairness of that election are “baseless” or the result of “lies.” Read More