Today I was in the mood to whinge but decided to attempt a happy blog instead – but no happy subject matter popped into my mind, so I checked my ‘blog idea’ list, kept in a secret nook in my computer memory. Oh, dear, I only found complaints, so, not having a happy idea of my own, I Googled ‘Inspirations for blogs’ – or something like that. There were a few sites, mostly rubbish. One had a very long list of suggestions, with a few added comments of praise and thanks at the end. (I didn’t add to that). I think it was called ‘Don’t know what to blog about?’ (Sigh), the list of boring and predictable suggestions was not really the imaginative prompt I was hoping for, so it was back to my own list and on to a couple of whinges. They’re not too awful and not all that bad - just aggravating things.
The first of these is the annoying practise of television announcers saying, “And now we cross live to …… at ….”
Here they have related a story about (say) a court case that happened during the day, then, to add gravitas (or whatever) to a lame story, they position a reporter outside the court house to add a bit more information. No matter that the court case has been over for five hours and now it’s dark and you can only see a lighted part of the courthouse building behind the LIVE reporter who is informing the tv viewers about the day’s trial or verdict, or whatever went on there several hours prior.
Two questions: One, why is it necessary to have a reporter at (or sometimes only vaguely near) the scene of what occurred earlier, to talk about it? And, two, why is this person always announced as being ‘LIVE’? Well, of course they’re live! Does ‘live’ actually just mean ‘right now’? Or are they reassuring us that the reporter is not dead? I don’t get it!
The other current whinge I have is often also associated with television reporting and is the use of the word, ‘impact’, when the word should be ‘affect’.
Saying ‘impact’ where ‘affect’ would (should!) do produces such statements as, “Wet weather would impact the children’s holiday” or “The wrong decision impacted the family’s health.”
Wet weather might affect the children’s holiday and a wrong decision might affect a family’s health, but IMPACT?
“Forceful contact” or “collision” seem to be the main dictionary meanings of ‘impact’. How about restoring the word to its proper usage?