Consider This A ‘So-Called’ Ban

If you’re tempted to write or say “so-called,” stop. Don’t do it.

The odds are far too high that many will think you’ve decided that whatever it is you’re saying is “so-called” has been “inaccurately or questionably designated as such” (Webster’s New World College Dictionary). They would have a point. The synonyms for so-called that come up in a search include “supposed,” “alleged” and “purported.”

Alternatives include simply saying “called” or “known as.”

Can you come up with an exception? I’m sure you can, Korva. Please be ready to make a strong case. Otherwise, just kill it.

(“Memmos;” Jan. 22, 2018)

January 22, 2018

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