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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

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In Print: On News Stands Now


by Tumbleweed Smith

"Brianna and I's idea was to climb Mount Washington."

That was a statement actually broadcast to a national TV audience by the weathergirl on ABC. I thought you had to have a few smarts to get a job on a national television network.

I have come to expect hearing flagrant abuses of the English language on commercials. One for an eyeglass firm says, "THE GUY ON THE RIGHT'S MOM GOT A PAIR FOR……" I didn't know right had a mom.

A cigar place ad says: "THE COOLEST GUY IN THE WORLD'S BROTHER…." Didn't know world had a brother. Do I detect a trend here?

Are all writers of commercials dimwits? Come on….you need to do better. And while we're at it, please stop using trite, overused phrases that don't make sense in the first place. "LAST CHANCE!" Really, now.

The number one most overused phrase used by commercial writers is this one: "TURN YOUR DREAMS INTO REALITY." I'm sure. Second is "NOW MORE THAN EVER." How do you know? Have you lived since the beginning of time?

Then these along those same lines: "NEVER BEFORE." "NEVER AGAIN." "SAVE LIKE NEVER BEFORE." I guess you should extremely limit use of the words ever or never in a commercial. By the way, is every month CHEVY MONTH?


"YOU'LL SLEEP LIKE A BABY ON A----------MATTRESS." Does that mean you cry and scream between short naps?

The most grandiose English mistake I hear on radio and TV (why is the code word for television capitalized and radio is not? How about just R? Turn on the R) is the non-agreement of subject and adjective. 'THE SCHOOL IS HAVING THEIR ANNUAL CARNIVAL." THEIR means more than one. "THE SCHOOL IS HAVING ITS ANNUAL CARNIVAL" is correct. I do know that sometimes the correct way sounds funny, but please get used to doing it right. English teachers and writers who adhere to some rules of grammar will appreciate your efforts. I think some of these problems developed when schools stopped teaching handwriting, geography and how to diagram a sentence.

I haven't seen much misspelling lately, thanks to the computer's spell checker. Apple computers won't let you use passive voice. Active voice is fine, but sometimes you need to by-pass the computer's rules and do something for effect and rhythm. I can't wait to see what my computer's grammar check is going to do with all these (mostly on purpose) mistakes.

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