From last Friday’s St. Paul Pioneer Press:

David Blessing grades St. Paul a “B” on a scale for bicycle commuting. The only thing keeping it from an “A?”

Downtown bike commuting is insane. You take your life in your hands every time,” says Blessing, a longtime local cycling advocate who manages the nonprofit Sibley Bike Depot, a community center/bike shop for enthusiasts located in downtown St. Paul.

As Earth Day approaches this Sunday, Transit for Livable Communities – a St. Paul nonprofit that encourages walking, biking and mass transit – is promoting bicycle commuting and improving conditions.

I am a person who likes biking. We like bringing our whole family out on bike paths, its a good family experience. I wish there were more bike paths and I think that this is something that cities should invest in.

And while Earth day is a bit overblown in the press, I don’t see any harm in focusing on being good stewards of what God has given us for one day.

So what bothers me about this article is not it’s content. No, that’s fine.

What bugs me about it the usage here of an all too common tool used by people who want to look like clever writers. See the question in the second sentence:

The only thing keeping it from an ‘A’?

Doesn’t that bug you? The writer is implying their belief that you, the reader, are so focused on this article and so in tune with the writer that of course you are wondering what St. Paul could do to receive an A from this guy. Uh, no, actually I wasn’t.

Why not “In case you’re curious as to why he gave it an ‘A'” Or just tell us, “. . . what kept it from getting an ‘A’ was . . ”

Putting the question in there slightly smarmy, slightly offensive and gives the message: We are way ahead of you.

Annoying Turn-of-Phrase Reporting – another free service from The Responsible Puppet.