Saturday, January 9, 2010...6:50 pm

Subbing tip #7: Out there? Don’t go there

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Every journalist and his dog seems to add this redundant phrase to whatever story they’re writing (or presenting, if it’s on TV or radio).

Here’s a typical example (from the Telegraph): “Amazon releases Kindle for iPhone but are there enough ebooks out there?”

Uh – out where, exactly?

If the story is asking whether there are enough enough ebooks in Croydon, say, then it should say so.

But in this case, it means, sort of, “in the market” – or maybe “available”. But why doesn’t the writer just say that? Or simply leave it out? The question “are there enough ebooks?” is clear enough, surely.

Unless removing the phrase makes the sentence unclear, just ditch it.

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