Archive for October, 2012|Monthly archive page

“This Will Be the Best Reality TV on Television”

In redundancy again, thoughtless patterns on October 19, 2012 at 2:48 am

This subtitle is actually attached to an amazingly clever and well-constructed article. Yes, it’s another under my byline, so I get to whine about editors. It was also written and submitted when the future tense (which wasn’t mine either) was appropriate to the main title, “Next [now Last, but I realize it fits in two ways, which would have been fun] Presidential Debate.”

Never mind. Brighter lights in bigger venues than this have committed the redundancy of packing both acronym and its full form into a single sentence or phrase. It’s hardly worth taking note of the number of times each day I hear ‘X a.m. in the morning.” At the same time, this subject gives me a chance to tell of a family-favorite exchange from the heat of an argument: (Parent) ‘You’re being redundant.’ (Enraged middle-schooler) ‘Redundant back to you!


“This may be the single most important night of the campaign.”

In comparatives, thoughtless patterns on October 16, 2012 at 11:04 pm

I fell off the “daily” wagon pretty quickly, but this repeat of a nearly constant abuse (which has almost certainly been uttered tonight by others in addition to Brian Williams on “NBC Nightly News”) stirred me to action. As it stands so often, that gratuitous single may try to, but of course cannot, intensify the superlative most important. I could be charitable and say it’s just redundant, but I would so like to see the single doing the job the speakers want it to do: ‘the most important single night.’

Come to think of it, I doubt even the pundits uttering this easy mess think that the presidential debate is going to be more important than the night they will spend enticing us to stay up all night counting ballots.

“He’s motioning for a new trial.”

In legal lingo, Parliamentary order on October 8, 2012 at 4:15 pm

On “Hard Time,” on the National Geographic Channel (9/25/12), I heard one of my long-standing peeves, grounded deep in the parliamentary procedure of the Presbyterian Church (USA). At least in the church bodies, I can forgive my fellow commissioners for coming to a a meeting with less than full familiarity with the language in which their wishes must be couched. In the narration of a TV documentary show, not so much.

One makes a motion, or moves an action to lay it before a body. Yes, in ordinary life, one may move in the same way as making a motion, but even there, using the phrase puts the emphasis on the noun, the thing, the motion itself. Motioning also draws our attention to the particular act, but it belongs only in the ordinary realm. I suppose I could see this inmate, in the courtroom, making some gesture of familiarity to, say, a juror that could fulfill the NatGeo narration’s wording, but at the time the inmate was shown hard at work in his cell, reviewing case law and writing his motion.

I move for adjournment and watchfulness.

… former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney …

In Internet language, on line, political titles, search-engine optimization, thoughtless patterns on October 8, 2012 at 5:01 am

I figure the first post here ought to be about something published under my own byline, if not my control. When I submitted this article, it referred to “former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney.” The site where I published it unfortunately does not allow for much give-and-take between writers and editors, and the editors favor SEO above all else. I suppose that would be the justification for changing my accurate and respectfully capitalized identification to mean ‘someone who governs or governed a place formerly known as Massachusetts.’ Given the setting, I didn’t think it was worth fighting about.

Now I have to find someplace to whine about SEO.

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