I do somewhat obsessively read the News and Observer every day, not always critically. So why, this morning, given the following front page headlines:
1 in 5 workers goes uninsured
Reality check on Afghan border
Investors find lots to love, but taxpayers could still be left holding the bag
For sale: In this economy, practically everything is
Stepdad tells cops he choked girl
Sylvia Plath's son kills himself
Armstrong breaks collarbone in crash
UNC bounced from women's tourney
did I focus on the following sentence?
"What transpired over the next 16 hours was the kind of clash ..."
Maybe just to keep my sanity. Transpire is another bugaboo of mine so I thought I'd check whether, once again, my preferences are old fashioned and outdated and I really am crochety. I found this at the Free Dictionary site. Therefore, I hereby propose we don't "utilize" it! (Or use "utilize" either.)
1. To become known; come to light.
2. Usage Problem - To come about; happen or occur.
3. To give off vapor containing waste products, as through animal or plant pores.
Usage Note: Transpire has been used since the mid-18th century in the sense "leak out, become publicly known," as in Despite efforts to hush the matter up, it soon transpired that the colonels had met with the rebel leaders. This usage has long been standard. The more common use of transpire to mean "occur" or "happen" has had a more troubled history. Though it dates at least to the beginning of the 19th century, language critics have condemned it for more than 100 years as both pretentious and unetymological. There is some sign that resistance to this sense of transpire is abating, however. In a 1969 survey the usage was acceptable to only 38 percent of the Usage Panel; nearly 20 years later, 58 percent accepted it in the sentence All of these events transpired after last week's announcement. Still, many Panelists who accepted the usage also remarked that it was pretentious or pompous.
This is a very aside aside, but I mention it as a complete contrast to newspaper writers' style (although I can't imagine a world without them!). Matt Taibbi writes for Rolling Stone and has a recent (long!) article entitled The Big Takeover: How Wall Street Insiders are Using the Bailout to Stage a Revolution. He starts out cussing, but in 18 pages provides more digestible information than all the websites, podcasts, newspapers, and magazines that consume my time. He writes with style and never uses "transpire". I can't vouch for the content, of course.