The mainstream media is driving me nuts. People who work in journalism, even bloggers, have some duty to try to use proper grammar. I make mistakes – because I am not an authority on proper English. Was I supposed to capitalize English? The point is that I try to ask myself questions of propriety.
I surf the channels of the mainstream media – mostly cable news – but I traverse the networks during their news hour. I visit major on-line news outlets every day, including the Huffington Post, Washington Post, NY Times, Chicago Tribune, Politico, Townhall.com, and Time and Newsweek Magazines. The cable news channels have been abusing the English language with cute introductions to taped events – they have been introducing their media with “Take a listen,” or “Let’s take a listen.”
I am personally concerned with the abbreviated language used with blogging, email, messaging, and cell phone text messaging. Effective communications is probably the most important distinction of humanity over other species. Mass Media should be working furiously to promote and encourage proper speaking and writing.
Several of my Grandchildren are in elementary school. One of the boys called me the other day. They are studying the Oregon Trail in the third grade. Their teacher gave them a wonderful assignment. They were to write a short story with them on the journey west, traveling the Oregon Trail. My grandson and I talked it through and come up with some ideas. He wrote the story.
The next day he called to report. It seems he did not use enough pronouns. The teacher is using the joy of story telling to teach history and proper use of grammar. She was able to help my Grandson understand history at a very personal and profound level. She was teaching him to express himself in meaningful and proper terms.
When I was a child our teachers would often use the media to help teach. We sometimes read local newspapers together. We learned about current events, civic responsibility, and proper language in one assignment. My local hometown newspaper maintains a standard of propriety – and I respect them for that.
I am losing respect for our national media that seems determined to try and stay relevant with mundane pop culture jargon rather than being relevant with important and insightful reporting.