Memo to Lucky: Stop Existifying Words
To: Lucky staffers
From: Glossed Over
Lately, a number of you have been failing to use resources writers should be familiar with—we’re thinking of dictionaries, thesauruses, and co-workers—when seeking words to describe the multitude of products you come across every day. We understand that coming up with a fresh description for each of the dozens of pairs of shoes you encounter must be challenging.
Still, that’s no excuse for flat-out making up words.
Although you must surely already know this (you did all graduate from high school, yes?), we’d like to take this opportunity to remind staff members that adding –y or –ish to a noun does not make it an adjective. Also, the origins of the –ify construction are highly specious, and should not be used to make up new words when perfectly acceptable terms that mean the exact same thing already exist.
In the December issue alone, we found the following violations:
We must request that you stop this practice immediately, lest your readers develop stress-related aneurysms from trying to parse these too-imaginative constructions. Worse, these ungodly verbal creations may catch on with the general populace, resulting in “youthifying” skin creams and “loungier” pajamas overtaking the market. (Not to mention the horrible prospect of “flea market-y” being bandied about freely in conversation—we don’t even know what that means.) If finding appropriate descriptors is too difficult for the staff, we suggest Lucky use the J. Crew catalog as a model and consider a shift to a text-free, all-pictures version.
Your cooperation is appreciated.