Tag Archives: news

Gotta love the Irish…

I spent 28 years working in television news, and I don’t think I ever saw anything like this. It’s too funny! It reminds me of the “outtakes” some reporters would do to show at the Christmas party. The best part is the lovely Ursala kept a straight face through the entire stand-up. Enjoy!

Keep on writing

A friend of mine posted this poster card on Facebook. As much as I hate to admit it, that’s a pretty good fit for me.Grammer poster

I spent most of my adult career in TV news, where writing was important, but traditional grammar rules were loosely observed. Punctuation was never a consideration. Ellipses were frequently used by many writers…

Then I went to work in higher-education public relations, and the AP Stylebook became my Bible. That’s not to say that I adhere to it perfectly. All you have to do is read this blog to know that I stumble frequently. (One major fault is I have a very difficult time editing anything I wrote. I just see what I meant to say, not what was actually written.)

I must confess to another serious geek-trait. I took two years of Latin in high school. I didn’t like it. Actually, I hated it. I still can’t explain an “ablative absolute. However, those two years of declining verbs and learning to use five cases of nouns helped me write English better than any English class I ever took.

So for 2013, perhaps this card will be my resolution – to remind me to pay closer attention to how I write. I’d hate to be on the wrong end of my own judgmental nature.

Spellcheck doesn’t always work the way you want

Whoever copy-edited an article in our local paper, the Savannah Morning News, should take note of this. In an article on a recent sailing regatta, this paragraph referred to the members of a sailing team from an all-girls high school (St Vincent’s Academy) who crewed on some of the boats. (Caps are mine.)

“It was a chance to see that things are similar but not the same on the bigger boats with WENCHES, and see a different age group in competition,” Baczynski added.”

Somehow I suspect the good Sisters of Mercy won’t appreciate that characterization.

Like PSU needs more bad news!

I’m the only one in our family of five siblings without strong ties to Penn State. Three of my four sibs and one brother-in-law are alums and, pretty much bleed blue and white. They have all been shocked and devastated by the events in State College this week.

The students there aren’t helping the university’s image. This video caught my eye because I spent 27 years in the TV news business. Stories of accidents with live microwave news vans are legendary. They usually involve raising the antenna mast into an uninsulated power line. (My last company had an intensive training and certification program to try to avert just that kind of very dangerous accident.)  There are the occasional cases of older vans without a cut-off safety switch where the driver drove off with the mast up and ran under a tree branch or overpass. That is never a good thing.  I don’t think I was ever seriously concerned about one of our vans being “flipped” on a college campus.

That’s pretty ugly.

Nobel Prize 2010 — A look ahead

dr_phil_mcgraw[Reuters:  Oslo, Norway 10-10-10] In a move that caught absolutely no one by surprise, the Nobel Prize Committee announced today that Dr. Phil McGraw will receive the 2010 Nobel Prize for Peace.

McGraw, known to his fans as Dr. Phil, is the host of a popular American television talk show.

In announcing the selection, the Nobel Prize Committee cited McGraw’s exhaustive work to reunite TV reality stars Jon and Kate Gosselin. jon-and-katePrior to their highly publicized and acrimonious separation, the Gosselins were the stars of a successful television show, “Jon and Kate Plus Eight,” which featured the couple and their adventures to raise their eight young children. Working both behind the scenes and on the air, McGraw is credited with brokering the reconciliation of the super-star couple, culminating with their renewal of their wedding vows on McGraw’s show. That episode of “Dr. Phil” is reported to be the single most-watched television show in history, beating out the final episode of M.A.S.H. by a two-to-one margin.

“I want to thank the committee for this award,” said McGraw. “I knew that I was doing important work with this couple, but I didn’t think the Nobel Committee would see it that way.

“This is well deserved recognition for all of the talk shows in the Oprah family and the significant contributions to mankind we make every day.”

Paris Hilton, who was the runner-up for the award, agreed that McGraw deserved the accolades. “Look at it this way, last year President Obama won, and he hadn’t done anything to deserve it,” she said. “Dr. Phil was responsible for making peace between two really important people and saving my favorite TV show.”

MitchelSome critics believe the award should have gone to former Senator George Mitchell, who was instrumental in finally brokering a just and lasting peace agreement in the Middle East earlier this year,  ending more than 60 years of conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors.  Hilton disagreed.

“I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen the Israelis or Palestinians on the front of People magazine,” she said.

Sources close to McGraw say he will ask Michelle Obama to babysit the Gosselin’s eight children while their parents accompany him to the awards ceremony in Norway later this year. White House sources say that proposal is being seriously considered.