Sunday, March 22, 2015

Fox News dumb and dumber

Fox News doesn’t give authorship credit to this article – I can see why.

The first sentence, when applied to the second – Candice Bergen’s quote – proves our world of literacy is under attack.

“Candice Bergen is svelte and she’s happy with it.

‘Let me just come right out and say it: I am fat,’ the ‘Murphy Brown’ star announces in her new memoir, ‘A Fine Romance,’ reports Rob Shuter of naughtygossip.” [*Sic. And there’s more …] (Fox News, March 22, 2015.)

If the preeminent news sources don’t know that “svelte” is not a synonym of “fat” – literacy is doomed.

While Ms. Bergen was for many years svelte – meaning slender, slim, graceful, lithe – and she is still an elegant lady, in her own words, she is the opposite of svelte. C’mon Fox, you’re setting a bad example.

Side note: Ms. Bergen is right about the issues of women’s weight and beauty attitudes as we age. After
forty-plus years of maintaining (or vainly attempting) a standard that is inherently irrational, many are simply opting to live the rest of their lives actually enjoying it. Consider the profound “end of life” question: quality or quantity? Depends on the quality of the chocolate!

*Back to Fox’s literary ineptitude … let’s take a look at their treatment of titles. Although a minor grievance compared to definition idiocy, the last I checked The Chicago Manual (which BTW, was yesterday) – the venerable bible of writing – still states that television show titles and book titles should be italicized, not enclosed in quotation marks.

Mistakes happen. Editors cringe when errors and typos escape their scrutiny and land indelicately in print. But opening line mistakes and breaking rules learned in elementary school – is simply lazy writing and editing.

Today's apathetic attitude toward our English language is a disappointing example of our dumb and dumber attitude, which is mangling guidelines and principles throughout society. Remember the fall of the Roman Empire?

Writing right … righting write.

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