The Economist sells nearly four times as many copies in North America as it does in the UK. But it continues to be leery of what it calls “Americanisms”. Much as I like reading the Economist, isn’t it somewhat old-fashioned to insist:
“Avoid affirmative action, rookies, end runs, stand-offs, point men, ball games and almost all other American sporting terms”?
The Economist style guide is a stickler for British English and so it says:
“Put adverbs where you would put them in normal speech, which is usually after the verb (not before it, which usually is where Americans put them). Choose tenses according to British usage, too. In particular, do not fight shy—as Americans often do—of the perfect tense, especially where no date or time is given. Thus Mr Bush has woken up to the danger is preferable to Mr Bush woke up to the danger, unless you can add last week or when he heard the explosion.”
But how about this?
“Try not to verb nouns or to adjective them. So do not access files, haemorrhage red ink (haemorrhage is a noun), let one event impact another, author books (still less co-author them), critique style sheets, host parties, pressure colleagues (press will do), progress reports, trial programmes or loan money. Gunned down means shot. And though it is sometimes necessary to use nouns as adjectives, there is no need to call an attempted coup a coup attempt or the Californian legislature the California legislature.”
The Economist's circulation
The graphic here is from the Economist media kit, which shows the magazine sold nearly 1.4 million copies a week between June and December last year. More than half the sales were in North America (nearly 787,000 copies a week), and just over 13 percent in the UK (about 187,000). Even Continental Europe bought more copies (nearly 240,000). About 134,000 copies were sold every week in Asia Pacific, with five-figure sales in:
- Australia (20.897)
- India (19,491)
- Hong Kong (18,411)
- Singapore (16,965).