Washington Post’s Gene Weingarten on the “death of the English language”
Here’s an amusing (yet semi-serious) column from the Washington Post’s Gene Weingarten, who blames the recent slipping of copywriting standards of American newspapers for the death of English. Since in his opinion the American media primarily dictates the standard for correct, up-to-date English language usage, the myriad of mistakes now found in publications across the country are spelling out the demise of the world’s lingua franca.
In the past year alone, as the language lay imperiled, the ironically clueless misspelling “pronounciation” has been seen in the Boston Globe, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Deseret Morning News, Washington Jewish Week and the Contra Costa (Calif.) Times, where it appeared in a correction that apologized for a previous mispronunciation.
On Aug. 6, the very first word of an article in the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal was “Alot,” which the newspaper employed to estimate the number of Winston-Salemites who would be vacationing that month.
The Lewiston (Maine) Sun-Journal has written of “spading and neutering.” The Miami Herald reported on someone who “eeks out a living” — alas, not by running an amusement-park haunted house. The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star described professional football as a “doggy dog world.” The Vallejo (Calif.) Times-Herald and the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune were the two most recent papers, out of dozens, to report on the treatment of “prostrate cancer.”
You can read the whole article here – well worth a read. It seems amazing that people who call themselves journalists could make such basic language errors; “doggy dog world” made me laugh out loud!