I'm not writing a telegram. The gain in accuracy and clarity is clearly worth a very small increase in the number of words. Anyone who writes regularly has to rework sentences - yes, sometimes even adding words - in all sorts of situations. The English language is just not elegant.
Well, your version was clunkier, but I guess whatever satisfies the editors.
I'm not really that stringent about these things. The initial issue I brought up was "Are REM getting their mojo back?" which is the worst of both worlds. If it was "Are the White Stripes getting their mojo back?" I never would have noticed it or brought it up in this thread.
Yeah, just needling.
And, oh boy. Don't even get me started on the "can" vs "may" debate, especially when asking for permission in the negative. (Should I have said "Mayn't I vent mine too? May I not vent mine too?" I assume you're just needling me, but just in case, both those options would not convey the conversational tone I was trying to convey.)