This just in from Zoltan Toth in Toronto:
I stumbled upon your site a few weeks ago and have enjoyed browsing through it on my coffee breaks on an almost daily basis. I live in Toronto where we just got hit by a rather sudden cold spell, complete with a few inches of snow. This morning on my way in to work I caught a headline in Metro, the city’s free commuter rag: Old Man Winter Strikes Again!
Why is winter old? And why is it a man? But who really cares, can we just banish this tired old phrase? And while we are at it, can we throw in “2 inches of the white stuffî too?
Ah, I feel so much better now — thanks.
Glad to oblige!
Robert Parson of WUFN Albion, MI, shares:
The two leads I hear on a regular basis that I can’t stand are
- “The City Council met last night.” This is simple Day 1 Journalism 101 class: City Council meets regularly. It’s not news. What they did is news.
- “We first told you last week about….” I don’t want to know what happened last week. I want to know what’s going on now. And I especially don’t care that you were the one who told me. Leave the puffery to your promotions department.
Lynne Sherwin of the Akron Beacon Journal opines:
I just HATE HATE HATE it when a tragedy of some kind takes place and the survivors are always described on TV as “searching for answers.” “Friends and family are searching for answers tonight after Wile E. Coyote was crushed by a falling anvil.” Just what the hell was the question?
R. G. Harris of Detroit,
Michigan, read the proceedings below and passed the following along:
I agree especially with the criticism of broadcast journalists
“A real team player;” “Ready to hit the ground running;”
and would add that they should also be forever forbidden from asking
inane questions of crime or disaster victims. Does anyone really doubt
how one feels when they have seen their home destroyed (totally destroyed
to the reporters) by fire, flood, tornado, etc. Or need they ask how
the family of a murder victim feels?Many other words or phrases should be eliminated. Among them:
a “self-starter;” and “There’s no ‘I’ in ‘team‘.”
We should also stop “doing lunch” and “taking meetings.”
As a retired police supervisor, I also have strong negative feelings
about many cases of “cop-speak.” I once heard an arresting
officer testify as follows:
“I observed a male subject exit a red colored vehicle and
proceed on foot in a westerly direction.”
Wouldn’t it be easier to see a man get out of a red car and walk
west? A “red-colored” as opposed to a red-flavored or red-shaped?
A “westerly direction as opposed to a westerly size?
Do we ever sound so stupid as when we try to sound smart?