For the blacklist

Casey Crookham shares:

Thanks for this forum to let me vent, my wife is tired of hearing me bitch about something I have no control of. Here are some of my pet peeves I hear on the news channels as reporters try to fill time and try to sound intelligent.

  • “if you will”: Broadcasters seemingly use this phrase to soften a colorful or slang phrase, that otherwise would have great impact, in order to sound educated or worldly. In my opinion, it makes them sound mealey-mouthed and pompous. It is interesting that when interviewee uses this phrase, theywill no doubt repeat at least once more during the segment.
  • “the ‘so called’ black boxî: Every time a plane crash occurs and NTSB crews search for the Flight Data Recorder or Cockpit Voice Recorder, a reporter refers to them as “the so called black boxesî. Since the accurate names of these devices are so self explanatory, and much publicity has been made that they are not painted black, why do these idiot reporters perpetuate this trite, inaccurate expression?
  • “Routine training mission” or îroutine traffic stopî: I seem to never hear these phrases without the world “routine” at the beginning. I doubt anyone in military leadership would refer to any training mission as routine, they all have an objective and challenges. Police trainers are constantly emphasizing to recruits to have a high level of awareness on any traffic stop and none are routine.

Other unnecessarily wordy phrases:

  • “first and foremost”
  • “way, shape or form”

Get going

Nancy Christie of Portland, Oregon, opines:

My nomination is “coming up on” as in “It’s coming up on 10 minutes after the hour” as spoken daily on National Public Radio. We know time is passing. The observation that an exact time might be 10 or 15 seconds in the future can be expressed with the word “almost” or simply state the time. Unless we’re timing an experiment, we don’t need to know the time within seconds. (I grudgingly accept “after the hour” when the program broadcasts in multiple time zones.)