The man at the top of the troubled media empire took time out of his real job this week to issue a list of words and phrases — 119 of them, to be exact — that must never, ever be uttered by anchors or reporters on WGN-AM (720), the news/talk radio station located five floors below his office in Tribune Tower.
The aim seems to be to discourage "newsspeak." I have two comments on this. One, I personally would like my news anchors to sound like they're reading the news, not as though they are sipping coffee in my living room. The increasing friendlification of the news really bothers me--if I hear an NPR reporter use the word "folks" one more time, I'm gonna...well, to be honest, I'm going to just shake my head ruefully and get on with my day.
My second comment on this story is...since when is "bare naked" newsspeak? In any event, I'm not sure why people are getting bent out of shape over what is mostly a generalized anti-cliche memo. Perhaps, because it involves language, we think of it as a free speech issue. But it seems to me more like a verbal corporate dress code.
Link #2, your daily litty funny, comes from my student Adi: If All Stories Were Written Like Science Fiction Stories. A sample:
He logged onto the central network using his personal computer, and waited while the system verified his identity. With a few keystrokes he entered an electronic ticketing system, and entered the codes for his point of departure and his destination. In moments the computer displayed a list of possible flights, and he picked the earliest one. Dollars were automatically deducted from his personal account to pay for the transaction.