Tuesday, October 11, 2011

39. Could Possibly - 10/11/11


(Verb:) The past tense of ‘can;’ Used to indicate possibility

Using “could” before “possibly” is another pleonasm that has pervaded our daily conversations and has crept into our reporting. We don’t need to have that extra “possibly.” For example, taking out “possibly” in the following sentences would let the reporter have an additional precious word in the copy. (also: see “Might Possibly”)


What could possibly motivate the mom-to-be to embellish her growing belly?”

Washington Post: The Beyonce baby bump conspiracy continues 

After all, as one of thousands of disenfranchised Sonics fans, what could possibly make this winter more bearable than the utter nullification of the NBA?”

Seattle Times: Having company during NBA lockout is nice for Sonic-less Seattle

The dumbest thing that Iran could possibly do, then, would be stop the collapse, to find some way to bring the U.S. and Saudi Arabia back together. “

The Atlantic: Would Iran Really Want to Blow Up the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S.?

Given this, we believe that the relatively low quality microphones in the iPad and iPod touch again may not give the best results, and could possibly prevent these devices from using Siri in the near future.”

WIRED: Siri Is iPhone 4S-Only Today, But Where Will It Be Tomorrow?

What could possibly go wrong?”

WSJ: Is It a Euro Bazooka Or a Damp Squib?

When you are taking a walk in midtown Manhattan after work one Friday, you could possibly pull out your phone, check the Yahoo app, and find out which bars have a happy hour within 5 blocks.”

Business Insider: What Yahoo, The Media Company, Would Look Like

(This is almost the earliest that the Democrats could possibly move for recall; the state’s rules require a politician to hold office for at least a year, and Mr. Walker was sworn in at the start of January.)”

NYT: Wisconsin Democrats Start Drive to Recall Governor 


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