Roaming the remote:
We are amused by those earnest, if overly loquacious folks who speak news-anchor, sometimes categorized as a foreign language, or at least overblown English. Channel 8’s dawn newscast is briskly paced and manned by perky, pleasant chattering heads, but they keep tripping over the newscaster tendency toward unnecessary words.
Earlier this week, a story about police activity at El Capitan and Grand Teton was referred to within several minutes as a "police situation," a "SWAT situation" and a "barricade situation." Sounds like quite a situation, doesn’t it? I’d recommend The Situation Drinking Game — one stiff belt for every mention — but you might not want to be crocked at 6 a.m., unless you’re still buzzed from the night before. Fortunately, we were spared "emergency situation." But as George Carlin astutely points out in his comedy routines, police merely respond to an emergency: "We know it’s a situation," Carlin tells us. "EVERYTHING is a situation."
Can we can the phrase "general area," as in "police are canvassing the general area"? "Area" will do fine, unless your neighbor, Mr. Area, is given a military commission. Also, no more breathless announcements that a "live crew" is on the way to the scene of a police/SWAT/barricade/emergency situation, OK? If they aren’t there yet, they aren’t live yet. At least they didn’t tell us they were "live on tape."
A cautionary note to weathercasters: Please dispense with the phrase "the winds are calm." If the winds are calm … there’s no wind.
Co-anchor Dave McCann, shilling for CBS prime time (hey, they’re forced to, I know that), led into a promotion for Britney Spears returning to "How I Met Your Mother" by comparing her first two appearances to "Jaws" and "Jaws 2." Kidding, right? One of the greatest films in history and the singer who can’t keep her privates private? "Jaws" and "Britney Spears" don’t belong in the same sentence unless Bruce the Shark is snacking on a pop tart.
Note to the affable, whirlybird traffic reporter Ken Smith: In a report on the conditions at Centennial Center Drive and the Beltway, he told us traffic was "moving above the speed limit." I’m sure the police and highway patrols appreciate that. Us, not so much. Then he noted he was flying more than 100 miles per hour, adding, "If only people could drive that fast." I’m sure the police and highway patrols didn’t appreciate that. Us, pretty much.
Seen or heard anything of interest on local TV or radio? If so, let us know. The remote is cocked and ready to fire.
Roaming the remote: