Friday, October 24, 2008

A recommendation

The Hoya:
One by one, jocks, nerds, artsy-fartsies and the rest of the milieu would “discover” the enjoyment possible by way of alcohol.


Milieu means environment, surroundings, or background. Since the trees on campus are not clamoring to get a drink at Rhino's, I am not sure that was the best word choice. One could use the word to mean social setting, which I believe the author is trying to do here. But milieu is the setting in which one acts and does not act itself. Furthermore, a milieu is a whole that should not be divided into parts. Let's drop that part of the sentence altogether:

One by one, jocks, nerds, and artsy-fartsies discover the enjoyment of alcohol.


See how much better that is? Short. Direct. To the point. The quotation marks around the word discover are not necessary because the entire article is about the author's doubt of the benefits of alcohol. In that context, the author's use of quotations marks appears snarky and condescending.

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