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The sad demise of news journalism

Updated on August 21, 2012

Random thoughts

I understand that language, like the humans who engage in it, evolves over time. I'm not so much of a journalistic purist to resist change. However, I'm troubled by a few trends I've observed recently. In no particular order of popularity, I'd like to call to attention and comment on a few.

First, the lack of use of the personal pronoun "who" when referring to people. Although it seems to be homogeneously widespread, it's especially rampant in sports journalism (I use that term loosely). "The coach that did this, the player that did that..." Last time I checked, even athletes are people who deserve the personal pronoun "who." And when you're quoting an athlete or coach who inappropriately uses "that" instead of "who," please correct it, thank you.

What's up with this "actually" business? Some field reporter for a local television station the other night used the term nine times in a two-minute segment. Does using this term make what you're saying any more factual or credible? Exactly the opposite for me. It actually makes one sound, like, like, a modern Valley Girl.

What events really qualify as "tragic" and what actions make someone a bona fide "hero"? Folks, we're coming dangerously close to crying wolf and reaching triteness with these terms. They lose their gravity and impact with overuse. Either that or this world is becoming increasingly tragic and comically hero-esque.

The parts comprise the whole. Something is NEVER "comprised of" something else. "Composed of" or "consists of" perhaps.

When did people forget how to pronounce "didn't, wouldn't," and "couldn't"? I hear more and more today the words pronounced gutterally, like some Cockney bloke, "DIT-(grunt)," or with an extra vowel that isn't there "Dih-DENT." Here in Minnesota, they make them one-syllable words ("DINT, WOONT, and COONT"). I suppose the proper pronunciation of these contractions has gone the way of cursive writing, which I hear they're no longer teaching in grade school.


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