Amid Other Postings, Amid Stands Out

I have a professional colleague who is an Iranian immigrant and who taught himself English as he attended UCLA for a few degrees.  He’s now a scientist who speaks accented but generally well-constructed and grammatical English.  Amid all these accomplishments, one word still drives him batty, and that word is amid.

As much as I try to explain to him that amid just means “in the middle of” or “surounded by,” he gets confused by all the political writers who seem to live and die by “amid” sentences.  “Amid pressure to resign…,” “Amid resistance by Iran…,” “Amid growing budget deficits….”  You know, fill in the blank and you’re on your way.

Funny but when I studied journalism, the main point was Joseph Pulitzer’s “Accuracy, accuracy, accuracy.”  Now, one must say “Amid accuracy, amid accuracy, amid accuracy” to get hired as a political pundit.

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