Tuesday, May 03, 2005

100 Worst News Groaners

 A “groaner” is a hackneyed, overblown, stuffy or just plain silly cliché that turns up time after time in news scripts. Groaners show laziness on the part of writers, disrespect for the folks watching, and a general contempt for lively English. Here are some of the worst offenders. You’ll recognize them immediately, so get ready to groan!  

Her are a few examples:

 Aftermath -  Print words don’t belong in spoken copy. Do you know anyone who says “aftermath” in normal conversation? When we were kids, aftermath came recess.

 Killing Spree. Webster’s says a spree is “a lively frolic.” Mass murder is not a “spree”. It’s mass murder.

 Unanswered questions - Well, duh!  Is there another kind of question? Once a question is answered, it’s not a question anymore! Don’t use excess verbiage just to sound rhythmically authoritative. If there are questions, say so. Period.

 The Nation’s Midsection. As opposed to The Nation’s Hind Quarters? The Nation’s Solar Plexus? The Nation’s Erogenous Zones? Can you think of a dumber way to say it’s raining in Chicago?

 Botched Robbery, Robbery Gone Bad - Like “unsuccessful suicide”, this is just plain silly. If some punk tries to rip off a 7-Eleven, and the cops show up, so he takes hostages, that’s not a “robbery gone bad”. It was bad at the start. We don’t need to feel sorry for the idiot who “botched” his chance to empty the cash register and decided to become a kidnapper. Let’s just say what happened, and leave the judgments to the folks watching.

More can be found here.

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