Gems from The Economist, part 2

As I’ve said before, I love the writing in The Economist. Smart, witty, often quirky. Some examples follow.

From the Sept 30 issue in an article about Brazil’s presidential incumbent Lula, the writer notes some issues which now face the country. “Brazil’s dismal standard of public education suddenly seems intolerable, prompting the president to campaign on the clunky slogan ‘development with income distibution and quality in education’.”

And in same issue, the obituary for former Texas governor Ann Richards begins, “Not much about Texas is becoming or demure. The coast is muddy and malarial; the west, seen from the air, is an immense brown mat of desert; the centre is scrubland munched by cattle. The state’s history is one long tale of men imposing their wills on the landscape; and, much more rarely, of big-haired weather-beaten women imposing their wills on the men.”

From an Oct 7 article about the cool relationships between China, Japan, and the Koreas, “Most Chinese profess contempt for ‘little Japan’, and young people with no experience of the war often jeer more stridently than their parents. But few appear to let patriotism get in the way of shopping.”

The Economist editors know when to use forcible and when to use forceful. And they make abundant use of the comma, as seen in this sentence: “On October 3rd, as the five permanent members of the UN Security Council steeled themselves to think about imposing sanctions on Iran for failing to suspend its uranium-enrichment programme, the Iranians proposed, out of the blue, that one of the five, France, lead a consortium to enrich uranium on Iranian soil.”

And a final example of knowing eactly how to get a point across: “If the question is to secure the oil-rich Gulf against Iranian adventurism, insist America’s Arab friends, a good first step would be to deny Iran and its rejectionist allies moral traction, by doing something about the festering Palestinian issue.”


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