It's been bouncing around like a drunken Slinky bouncing down the steps of the Vatican.
Out with it, then, I always say.
Two stylistic writing devices I have absolutely no tolerance for are rhetorical questions and the use of italics to denote emphasis. I just wish I could come up with a good reason besides "I just don't like them." The rhetorical questions, I feel, are dumb because anything you could pose as an interrogative could just as easily be phrased in the declarative. I guess, then, it's a matter of being succinct. (Watch it, though, because I use a rhetorical question in my column tomorrow.) As for the emphatic italics, I think they're dumb just because the writing should be clear enough that the reader would know what to emphasize. Just sitting there, midsentence, I feel the italics treat the reader like he or she is too stupid to figure that out on their own.