Mix it up, baby!
I've been getting a raft of poorly-written features from various financial freelances. Now this is surprising, because financial journalists are usually much more restrained in their use of vocabulary and what my former English teacher used to call 'purple prose'.
Compared to the political commentators in the national press, whose articles are more self-congratulatory than informative, or the fashion writers, who mistake criticism of the famous for investigative reporting, financial journalists usually provide you with a record of what has happened, combined with (hopefully) informed analysis of why.
Banks have raised their dividends to XXX from XXX, because they want to do XXX. Sum Expert says: "XXXX".
Which is how it should be. But recently, I've been getting copy riddled with inaccurate information, plenty of Warren Buffets and - horror of horrors - mixed metaphors.
Given that the market is not great for freelancers at the moment, you would think they would show more determination to produce great copy and therefore secure repeat business.
Here are some howlers for your delectation and amusement, and for my rantification:
The Three-way mixed metaphor:
"The investment and asset management world has been turned on its head and we are now charting unknown waters, but Elizabeth is confident that AGI has a winning strategy."
"Markets are good and investors are being urged to dive right in and bite off the top of the cherry."
And my favourite, a six-way mixed metaphor from someone whose writing many of you will read in the national press:
“Beating the herd to the punch can sometimes be the best recipe for success, and JPMorgan’s Indian Investment Trust is proof of this particular wisdom. While the rest of the world has woken up to India only relatively recently, JPMorgan’s Indian Investment Trust has been quietly beavering away there for years.”