I may have just heard it all.
I just heard a commentator on NPR use the phrase "Paris Hiltonian". WTF?? It was used to describe the media coverage of another event. Granted, the event involved Terrell Owens, so it couldn't be considered an earth-shattering news story, but still. I have an idea! Let's express our contempt for certain media coverage not by invoking one pathetic name to describe another, but by completely ignoring the pathetic altogether. Murrow is spinning, kids.
This is just the latest in a small series of things about broadcast journalism that have rankled me lately. Since I don't have a TV, I listen to the radio a lot. That means a lot of NPR, but I also listen to the local news because one of the network affiliates in town broadcasts their entire day on the radio as well as TV. My most hated thing right now is the use of the word "hunnerd".
Now, it's one thing for Joe Shmoe on the corner to use the word "hunnerd" during an on-the-spot interview, most especially when something traumatic has just happened. It also has comedy use out the yin yang. But it's an entirely different issue when Carl Kasell says something like, "Today in Iraq, a roadside bomb killed two hunnerd Iraqi civilians." It makes me want. To. Scream.
IT'S HUNDRED, PEOPLE. IF YOU CAN'T PRONOUNCE IT CORRECTLY, YOU'RE SPEAKING TOO QUICKLY. OR YOU'RE FREAKIN' LAZY. IT'S NOT THAT TRICKY.
I'm not a broadcast journalist. But I sing (which requires diction) and I was a student orator back in the day. Enunciation is important, especially if it's a big part of your job -- say, if you're a broadcast journalist. If I can do it, you can do it, Renee Montagne.
The thing of it is, once you hear it, you hear it everywhere. It's like libary and picher (those things that you hang on the wall). And it slowly drives you mad. You know, in that Paris Hiltonian kind of way.