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Media Circus

Media Illiteracy

By Tom Chalkley | Posted 8/23/2000

Not wanting to end this column without sounding one sour note--and wanting to give Media Circus an "interactive" feature--let me invite readers to send in examples of English words and phrases mangled by professionals in the news media, whether in print or broadcast. That's right, I want grammar bloopers, folks. And they don't even have to be cute (like switching "forced Ripken" to "ripped foreskin"--a classic), just annoyingly erroneous. Like WBAL anchor Marianne Banister's use of the non-word "irrevelant," or an NPR reporter's repeated references to the Russian "nucular submarine" grounded in the Barents Sea. Send these grubby treasures, with some sort of credible documentation, to Media Circus c/o City Paper, 812 Park Ave., Baltimore, MD 21201, or to In this era of ongoing assault on the language, a little public ridicule can help keep the barbarians at bay.

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