Mary Higgins Clark’s The Melody Lingers On has this awkward sentence on page 91: “At least you have to give him credit for being a thoughtful son, Jon thought.”
Two things hit me. First, the cliché you have to give him credit, but worse, she uses thoughtful, and three words later in the same sentence, she uses thought.
I haven’t liked reading The Message because of the abundance of clichés, but I determined to read it from Genesis through Revelation. This morning I hit this sentence in 1 Thessalonians 1: “Although great trouble accompanied the Word, you were to take great joy from the Holy Spirit—taking the trouble with the joy, the joy with the trouble.” I can overlook the triple use of joy because it flows. But he wrote take and then taking. It would have been easy for him to substitute receive, derive, or experience, which would have made the prose smoother and not changed the meaning.
What weaknesses have you noticed in print?