Sunday, October 12, 2003

Now, Now

So many stories, so many nows.

The three little letters supposedly juice up the story with a stirring sense of immediacy. Maybe. If a contrast needs to be made between historical events and the present, go ahead and use the "now." It does bring us bang up to date.

But otherwise -- why? It's a newspaper. We assume the news is new. We assume that, in general, everything we report is "now." If not, why put it in the paper?

"With Madonna's book available, the world is now a better place."

Why not --

"With Madonna's book available, the world is a better place."

The same goes for "recently." It's another vague word used to bring fake immediacy to an article. Look here, if the story needs placed in the present so badly, give me specifics. When is now? When is recently?

Even better (and with punchier verbs) --

"When Madonna's book came out Sunday, the world became a better place."