Tuesday, November 27, 2018

You Get Paid to Talk - A Rant

Him and I's relationship is solid.  That was a contestant on an I'm-too-embarrassed-to-admit-that-I-was-in-the-room-at-the-time reality tv show.  It was a show entirely about relationships.  I would have thought that the producers would have introduced a little bit of grammar training along with the hair and make up.

Admittedly, that's a hard one.  Brenda Starr, my newspaper editor friend, advises writing around situations like that - We have a solid relationship - rather than tackling the complexities.  And, these weren't people chosen for their facility with the spoken word.  Looks won out more often than brains.

But the sports announcers?  Their job is to put together coherent sentences in the English language.  It amazes me how difficult they find that task. If information can be conveyed as well, that's a step up from the norm.  My brain is exploding .

Big Cuter and his father, showing an appalling lack of moral certitude and a delightful abundance of bonding, spent four days on Douglas, watching football.  Some basketball was thrown in season the offerings, but hour after hour, day after day, I listened to men mangle the spoken word. 

Normally, I'd take out my hearing aids.  The tv becomes white noise I can easily ignore after 40 some years of practice.  I can crochet or read or play silly games on the iPad while still staying sane.  But my boy was home, and I had him all to myself, and there was much to be said and heard. 

So I sat in the comfy twirl-around chair doing crosswords and reading and discussing all that is wrong with the world and how to fix it. If only they would listen to us. 

But when the action on the field drew his attention, I was drawn into the drama as reported by the voices.  Those voices are nasally and they mumble and when I can understand the individual words they don't seem to cohere into anything worthwhile.  On the rare occasion that a point is made, it's repeated and repeated and repeated ad infinitum. 

Sometimes it's a sobriquet - a mobile quarterback - that I find myself hoping for, waiting for, anticipating with a weird sense of inevitability and then groaning when it arrives because I knew he just had to say it.  Couldn't help himself.  Had one thought all night and wouldn't let go.

Until he had another thought, two whole sentences of a thought and became so enthralled with it that there he was again, telling me the same thing again and again and again.  Even I understood it the first six times he told me.

And that's just football.  I'm not going to begin to describe how I feel about MSNBC's supposedly thoughtful commentators.  When Ari Melber or Ali Velshi decide that the nominative case doesn't exist, when the subjunctive seems to give Chris Hayes pause, I begin to wonder about the future of America. 

Thanks for listening. 

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