Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Stupid Celebrities stupid headline

I was randomly following links this morning and was startled to see the headline, "John Travolta Nearly Escapes Death".

First thought-- Travolta is dead!

Immediate second thought-- stupid web journalists don't know the English language.

Second thought was the right one. "Narrowly" would have worked, or "barely". But "nearly" made the sentence say the opposite of what it was intended to say.

The one thing that actually works in the favor of the dinosaur journalists' argument for expertise and training and experience is that they actually do go to college and specifically learn the use of the language for their trade. When just anyone can start writing without that preparation, the weakness of the normative American education is put in the spotlight.

I know it's silly, but this sort of thing annoys me. :-)