Saturday, February 07, 2004

Today's political note: Don't allow writers to change "voters" to "electorate" just to avoid repetition with the verb "voted."

The "electorate" is the body of people entitled to vote. "Voters" are the people who took that entitlement seriously.
WRONG: When the Iowa electorate voted, they chose war supporters.
RIGHT: The poll targeted the small portion of the electorate that would attend the primary.
Watch for "electorate voted." That is a signal to copy editors that the word is probably being misused (by some well-meaning reporter avoiding "voters voted"). (And good for them for trying, but recast the sentence anyway.)


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