Commercial prose is so open to dragging in the deadwood to the center of your living room and just forgetting it there…
One such oddity I’ve heard this morning on the radio was the phrase “near impossibility.”
People (in America) don’t talk like that. They say something is “almost impossible” — not “it is a near impossibility.”
Even worse — have you ever heard anybody saying “honey, don’t forget to take your umbrella against a precipitation activity” (which might very well be a “near possibility”!).
Listen to any weather report and you can perhaps hear them issue an alert against “precipitation activity.”
Sometimes even the traffic reporters get in the mood and start talking about an “accident activity on the right shoulder on I-95″… ugh!
Read aloud what you write and ask yourself if normal people talk like that. If they do, you’ve got great prose. Congratulations. If not, burn what you’ve written and don’t tell anyone about it. We’ll all be better for it.