Friday, 4 January 2008

For a while I'm going to take as my subject that which is also my hobby: watching television.

I'm going to start with a few pet hates and at the minute what I find most annoying is the lazy writing, particularly the verbs, used by the BBC in their news bulletins. For example, the volcano in South America that's currently having a grumble is constantly described as "spewing". Fine, once perhaps, but every volcano every time? Then there was the description of yesterday's momentary glimpse of winter when half an inch of flurry drifted over the Cairngorms but the country was said to be "in the grip" of the weather. No we weren't, some people enjoyed it, some found there car windscreen needed clearing and some others got a bit parky when they took the dog for a walk. No-one was "in the grip" of anything.

Then there's the price of something, say gas or a train ticket. If ever these prices go up they aren't 'increased' they are 'hiked'. And God forbid if it's an 'above inflation increase', we can all expect the world to end as we're overrun by sodomites. It's bad enough that there's an increase without all the hyperbole.

Tangentially, I also hate the way the BBC uses the news as a springboard for shows it's airing later that day. How many times does the morning news run a 'reports say that nurses work too hard' story only to find that there's programme on that very subject at 9 o'clock on BBC1? As the programme is already made then it comes under the heading of 'magazine' or 'current affairs' but not 'news' so don't dress it up as such.

To close I have to point out the latest bit of government speak. Remember it started with 'it's all the tories' fault' then (although they aren't above still trying that one occassionally) they moved to saying questions about their competence were 'plainly daft' or even 'silly' and 'would you just let me answer the question'. Now it's either 'a review is underway so don't ask us about it' or 'we are just getting on with the job'. I'm not political but I wish they'd all try just that bit harder to bamboozle me, let me feel as if I'm worth the effort!

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