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Weeknotes 2022.19

A few things I’ve been thinking about this week. The nineteenth post of a series.

I’ve been irritated over the past couple of years by the emergence of the phrase “at pace” to mean “quickly” (e.g. “we are working at pace”). It’s clearly nonsensical as the pace isn’t specified. I was irritated afresh this week by seeing it appear in a reputable newspaper for the first time.

It’s clearly a new coinage, having not yet been picked up by any of the major dictionaries. I’ve convinced myself that it must be a mishearing of the word “apace” which is a perfectly fine synonym for “quickly”. I’m making it my mission to use “apace” in documents more often, before it’s outpaced by “at pace”.

If I’d been doing weeknotes a few years ago, you’d have been subject to a similar rant about the different between “auspices” and “aegis”, but I’ll spare you. Just know that if you write “under the auspices of…” then you almost always mean “under the aegis of…”. Or, even better, reword whatever you’re trying to say with altogether less ridiculous phrasing.

And don’t get me started on “while” versus “whilst”. My strong preference is to only ever use the latter if you also plan to use “whence” in whatever you’re writing.

I’ve been reading James Bridle’s excellent New Dark Age this week. Chapter nine, which is about YouTube, opened my eyes. I’m also listening to the New York Times podcast Rabbit Hole at the moment, which is mostly about YouTube, and the two make a startling combination.

I’m not a particularly regular user of YouTube, but thought I had a reasonable idea of what it was all about. It turns out, I didn’t have a clue. It’s deeper, darker and altogether less savoury that I ever imagined.

This post was filed under: Weeknotes.

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