Sunday, May 4, 2008

A note on procedure

OK, look if you're a spokesman or a news reporter for something, then just say it please. No embellishment, no extra words - just feakin' say it.


Wrong: "... the facility appears to have sustained undetermined damage from a suspected small explosive device."
Correct: "A bomb damaged the building."

Thank you.


  1. My favorites are when they try to be all fair and stuff regardless of contact:

    "Ms. Lila Brownshorts to police that an unknown gentleman or gentlemen were peering through her bathroom window as she showered."


    "Police are trying to discover whether or not the alleged headless and limbless torso may have been the victim of foul play."

    The perpetrator, when found, may be 'alleged', but the dismembered corpse is almost certainly really a dismembered corpse.

  2. Doh...'contact' would be 'context'.

    These comment thingies work much better when you type the right words.


  3. It's possible that although the likelihood of my upcoming assessment of the situation is not entirely provable using traditional methodology, it's still a valid statement in such times as these. My educated guess is that a financial ratio of verbiage to monetary allotment plays a substantial role in the forming of statements both for journalistic and historic documentation.

  4. It probably helps keep the stupid unthinking masses from panicking.

    "Oh noes! Damage!! From a BOMB!!! *runs around frantically like a chicken robbed of its liver*"


    "*parse parse parse* *blankness* oh. uh. okay."

  5. There is also the fallacy running around that more syllables = smarter conversation.

  6. How about this:

    "Then the house went [makes hand gestures to go with the sound] kerrrblooshbshzhshshkkkk and there was stuff everywhere!"

    (I get this wonderful image of all spokespersons acting like Johnny from the Airplane! movies.)

  7. Hee! Eric, that would make TV news a lot more interesting, that's for sure.

  8. Thanks Eric, now I have to watch Airplane again.

    Looks like a bad day to stop sniffing glue! Or in this case gasket sealer...


Comments on this blog are moderated. Each will be reviewed before being allowed to post. This may take a while. I don't allow personal attacks, trolling, or obnoxious stupidity. If you post anonymously and hide behind an IP blocker, I'm a lot more likely to consider you a troll. Be sure to read the commenting rules before you start typing. Really.