So I finally did it. After years of fearing long-term commitment and a high-maintenance relationship, I’ve taken the plunge. Despite my fears, I knew this was what I really wanted, so I made the decision and went with it.
No, I’m not talking about a girl. I speak of The Economist. I now have a subscription to that famed British publication. Yes, you know the one…the one with a spartan use of pictures. The one that uses the term multilateral at least a few times every issue. The one in which a person can read in a single issue about landmark changes to the American welfare system, major developments in globalisation, the history of the Suez crisis & its impact on Arab-Western relations, Peru’s new president, bird flu in Indonesia, the publishing practices of French politicians, and a thoughtful article on the ethics of war.
At two dollars an issue, and with my needing reading material for my twice-daily 10- to 15-minute subway commutes, it was a deal too good to pass.
The quality of the writing in The Economist impresses me, and the vocabulary is more advanced than any American newspaper I’ve read. I enjoy the British quirks that come through (like the spelling of globalisation & sceptic, and the unblinking use of dodgy), and the magazine stimulates thought with careful, intelligent, and fair treatments of controversial issues.
But what delights me most is the–forgive me–economy of language in The Economist. I’ve culled a couple examples of compact adjectives, both from the July 29th–August 4th 2006 edition.
Mr Garcia is timid in part because his political position is shaky. A recent poll puts his approval rating at 50%, low for an incoming president. APRA has just 36 of the 120 seats in the unicameral legislature, compared with 42 for Mr Humala’s Union for Peru. (35)
Laloo Prasad Yadav, India’s railway minister, was known during the 15 years that he and his wife, Rabri Devi, were successive chief ministers of the state of Bihar, for his earthy realism and rustic lifestyle… (38)
Yet a thoughtful speech this week on public-health policy, the second of a series [Blair] is giving on domestic issues, inevitably had a valedictory ring to it. (56)
Thank you, John F, for sharing your love of the Economist.