Out on a Limb

Daily Best of the Web   —   Posted on April 25, 2016

Out on a Limb

The following is an excerpt from OpinionJournal’s “Best of the Web” at The Wall Street Journal written by the editor, James Taranto.

Other Than That, the Story Was Accurate

  • “A previous caption incorrectly called the Underground Railroad the underground railway.”—NPR.org, April 20
  • “An earlier version of this article misstated one of the countries in which David H. Petraeus served as a top United States general. It was Iraq, not Iran.”—New York Times, April 20

Out on a Limb
“US Concerned by Russia’s Increased Military Presence in Syria”—headline, VOANews, April 21

Shut Up, She Explained
Julia Baird—the Australian TV personality, not John Lennon’s half-sister—had a New York Times op-ed the other day titled “How to Explain Mansplaining.” Here’s the start:

It was on a recent trip to Indonesia that, as a male bureaucrat sounded forth on a vast span of subjects without being asked to do so, I realized that the English language was in need of a new addition: the manologue. This otherwise perfectly charming man droned on and on, issuing a steady stream of words as I sat cramped in a tiny room with a group of fellow journalists and squinted at the labels on the soda cans hospitably placed on a table in front of us.

…After several minutes…the official at last uttered the words, “Now, to answer your question.”

So why did we get so many words between the question asked and the answer given? Why were they spoken at all? And how can you stem such extraneous, long-winded trains of thought? How can you politely say to a prolix associate, as a TV host might: “We’re almost out of time; can you keep this short?”

The piece goes on in the same vein for roughly 1,000 words, but we can sum it up in five: Men blather on too long.

Julia: Brevity.

For more “Best of the Web” from The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto click here.