Sandy Novak asserts:

I am coming to hate the imbedded reporters who introduced us to the phrase “on the ground,” as in “troops on the ground.” I even heard politicos (oh yeah, another good one) using it to describe the crowds of voters this past election: “With poll closings approaching, estimates are that there remain nearly a million voters ‘on the ground.'”

I agree that ‘on the ground’ is the appropriate place for soldiers as well as voters but question the vagueness of the usage. Sounds more like where cattle fall before they’re turned into burgers or where skydivers ought to land.

4 thoughts on “Grounded

  1. Another common phrase reporters use is, “reporting to you live from the scene.” They couldn’t report at all if they were dead. If they are reporting from the scene, they are surely alive.

  2. Having spent 3 years working for ESPN, “Live from the scene” is a TV reference telling you that you are seeing the reporter speaking in real-time. Otherwise, the news bit would be called “Time-delayed” or “taped” to let you know the newscast happened at an early time.

    I believe “from the scene” could be eliminated.

  3. Actually, I disagree; in the case of a shooting the other week, there were reporters “reporting live from the mayor’s office”, “reporting live from the police station”, and “reporting live from the scene” (of the crime). In this case, they’re all different places. Quite frequently people will report live from places other than the scene — reporting about Fallujah from Baghdad, reporting about Katrina from Baton Rouge, etc.

    Neither part of “reporting live from the scene” is redundant; they are reporting “live” as opposed to taped, and “from the scene” as opposed to from the nearest news room or other safe location. The only thing I can find that is at all redundant is the verb “reporting”, and that’s necessary to form a complete sentence: “Linda live from the scene” is missing a verb.

  4. In terms of — stop using ‘in terms of’ at available opportunity. If you think about it, this phrase could be placed in front of almost any word. Stop it, now! Politicians and social ‘scientists’ are particularly prone to use this.