What not to say

I proof stuff at work, and thus get to rant about style and usage. My notes turn into “what not to say” memos. Here’s one:

Stop using the false range. If you say “from soup to nuts” or “from California to New York Island,” I know you mean from beginning to end, or one side to the opposite. But a random selection like “from boxes to movies to pumpkin pie” doesn’t explain a real range of anything along a known continuum like time or distance. Instead say your examples are “as diverse as. . .”

(That’s why this Dorothy Parker quote is funny: “She runs the gamut of emotions from A to B.”)


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