Not exactly a day at the beach

Karl Witter sent this voluminous list of suggestions along:

Banned images:

  • The intrepid reporter standing at a beach’s high-water mark in the onslaught of a hurricane or other coastal storm. I’m waiting to see a wave crashing over the reporter, and, after subsiding, the
    camera op reeling in a snapped cable with no mic or reporter attached.
  • The transitional bantering in which news anchors, meteorologists and sports anchors appear on screen together for several seconds.
  • Banned words (not including spillover from the corporate lexicon):

  • “And you’re not going to believe this…”, “Get
    ready for this…”, or similar, prefacing a TV news story which
    will shock us with needlessly tragic human suffering or bureaucratic
  • Grow” as a verb done by the subject to the object. One grows neither the economy nor a dog. One can feed a puppy, house-train it, and take it to the vet. Then it grows.
  • Random violence” isn’t; lightning is. The phrase
    seems to have been invented for contemporary street and blue-collar
    crimes, and gangs. Old-fashioned American shootouts, from the Old
    West to the Roaring Twenties, needed no such distinction for the accidental
    shooting of non-involved bystanders.
  • The mother of all…” is this decade’s mother
    of all cliches.
  • Abortion clinic,” “abortion doctor“. Hmm…nobody’s called John Salvi’s victims “abortion receptionists” yet. Hey, I’m just glad the press hasn’t adapted the right-to-lifers’ terminology and started calling women’s health clinics “fetus
    farms”! (Half-kidding but barely.)
  • xxx-ly correct” when one really means “just
    plain accurate and right.” Included uses of note are geographically
    correct, historically correct, and, the winning stretch-of-phrase,
    orinthologically correct.
  • Politically correct” applied ex-post-facto to
    anything. Someday a journalist will describe the Underground Railroad,
    the Pure Food and Drug Act, or the Taylor Act as “P.C.”
    Actually, “politically correct” is a “feely” word
    with no definition anymore. Restrain its use to the original higher-education
    meaning and trash it in other arenas.
  • One thought on “Not exactly a day at the beach

    1. “Grow” is a transitive verb if it applies to the plants in a garden or farm (“Billy Joe-Bob grows corn on his plantation”), but otherwise should not be used as something a subject does to an object.