Search topics on this blog

Google+ Badge

Showing posts with label enormity and magnitude. Show all posts
Showing posts with label enormity and magnitude. Show all posts

Thursday, 25 August 2011

This and that …

TV AND PEDANTS CORNER

STV’s six o’clock news makeover has had enough time for someone to look at it and say “Oh, My God! – What have we done"?”, but nobody has. It has a look of 1970s graphics and early VHS video about it, in its washed out colours, indeed if it wasn’t for the feeble colour, it would look like a 1940s film trailer in its opening sequence. The two clearly attractive and intelligent ladies of news and sport are in urgent need of a good makeup artist – I can’t believe they chose that matte lacquered look by themselves. This is not cutting edge, STV – time to think again …

Television continues its casual abuse of the English language. A couple of helpful tips -

enormity does not mean magnitude: it is - or was, for its decline looks irretrievable – a scale of awfulness, of evil, e.g. the enormity of the holocaust, and its use simply to describe size loses a vital distinction to the language. (BBC NEWS: the sheer enormity of the hurricane.) The destruction the hurricane wreaks may soon warrant the use of enormity, but at the moment, it is its magnitude that is being described.

Back over on STV, there appears to be be a lack of understanding of the usual rule of placing the stress on syllables when pronouncing the same word, depending on whether it is used as a verb or a noun. The noun carries the stress on the first syllable, the verb form on the second, e.g. SUSpect and susPECT, PROcess and proCESS.

The danger for newscasters and presenters of news in this context is that they need to project an authoritative persona, one which collapses rapidly if they make elementary errors. But then, perhaps it doesn’t really matter, since those who know shit from Shinola are vanishing over the age horizon. O tempora, o mores.

Cicero? Who the **** is he? Wis that no' a café somewhere in the east end durin’ the War… ? Whit dae ye mean, whit war? Ya cheeky wee bastard …

TWITTER

I have commented on the trivial use of Twitter by most Scottish politicians, prompting a question from a friend that brought me up short – “How many politicians do you follow on Twitter?

The answer to that is – only a few, which probably explains my miniscule number of followers on the medium since I started using it last winter. I decided not to play the I’ll follow you if you follow me game, and have thus lost as followers an incalculable number of purveyors of obscure commercial products and utter triviality, including skateboard manufacturers in Florida, suppliers of online vitamins products, young ladies offering strange services, and innumerable electronic gadget salespeople.

The real explanation may, of course, be that nobody gives a green damn about what I have to say, but I prefer not to entertain that idea …

However, before I make further criticisms of MSPs for their use of the medium, I am resolved to follow as many of them as have a Twitter identity, just in time for their return from the long holiday that most of them indignantly deny having had …