Copy Point: “Rash” of Break-ins

I’ll never claim to be a writing expert, but going over copy everyday gives me an opportunity to look at the words we use and occasionally ask why. With that disclaimer, here is today’s Copy Point:

                        We wrote “a rash of burglaries” .

 Copy Point: Sounds like a skin disease. Technically, “rash” of burglaries is proper usage, but isn’t “string” of burglaries what we are trying to say –

 From Dictionary. com: “string”” ‑‑A series of similar or related acts, events, or items arranged or falling in or as if in a line.

 Let’s add “rash” to the words we only use in medical stories.

COPYPOINT: Using age in your copy

Those of you who have worked closely with me know I am a stickler about writing.  We must write clear and easy-to-understand sentences.  

Sometimes, we sabotage that effort with the words we choose.  That’s why, from time to time, you will receive COPYPOINTS from me.  Here is the first:

 Let’s avoid starting sentences with the age of the subject of the sentence. i.e. “26‑Year old Kevin Hirschfield was shot to death while..”

 Its a non‑starter.

No one talks like that. (Except on TV and at the police station!)

If age is important, take the time to explain why. 

Example: Hirschfield, who is 26, is much older than the teens who attacked him.

 Unless someone is very old, or very young, their age probably can be relegated to a place deeper in the sentence, or the story.