The Press: Elongated Fruit

On the late Boston Transcript, a feature writer, with a fondness for using three words where one would do, once referred to bananas as “elongated yellow fruit.” This periphrasis so fascinated Charles W. Morton, now the associate editor of the Atlantic, that he began collecting examples of “Elongated Yellow Fruit” writing. Friends on newspapers and magazines have joined in the game, send him the worst examples they can find for the Atlantic Bulletin, a chatty monthly promotion letter (circ. 5,000). Samples:

¶ In the New York Herald Tribune a beaver was almost incognito as “the furry, paddle-tailed mammal.” CJ In the New York Times, phonograph records became “the noisy disks.”

¶ The Denver Post elongated “mustache” into “under-nose hair crops.”

¶ To the Associated Press, Florida tangerines were “that zipper-skinned fruit.”

¶ In the Lincoln (Neb.) Sunday Journal-Star a cow did not give milk; “the vitamin-laden liquid” came from a “bovine milk factory.”

¶ In the Wall Street Journal, potatoes were “bog oranges.”

¶ The Boston American’s ski columnist could not decide whether to call snow “the elusive white substance” or “the heavenly tapioca.” And in Travel magazine, skiers slid down the slopes on “the beatified barrel staves.”