usingtherightwords

Guaranteed to improve your English

A New Year but Same Old Media


I firmly believe that the media’s job in the coming years is to question everything that the media are told, take nothing for granted and verify everything.

In other words, the media need to do their job. But it’s harder for me to take the media seriously when they get things wrong. Yesterday, I heard two examples.

A local radio sports reporter called the parade that runs down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena every New Year’s Day (except when Jan. 1 falls on a Sunday) the “Rose Bowl Parade.”

As a native of Pasadena (born and raised), I have always cherished the parade and considered it my own. I have missed two parades since 1974: 1986, when I sold concessions at the Rose Bowl; and 1987, when I was in Palm Springs. This year, I watched from the TV area, and it’s something I think every parade lover should do at least once.

But I digress.

The name has always been Tournament of Roses Parade or Rose Parade for short. How can it be called Rose Bowl Parade when the parade started in 1890 and the first football game (called the Tournament East–West football game) was 1902? Since that 1902 game was so one-sided (Michigan 49, Stanford 0), there were no more football games until 1916.

The other disagreeable uttering came on ABC-TV in its promo of the upcoming interview with Lyle Menendez, who with his brother Erik murdered their parents and are serving life-without-parole sentences.

The exact words: “Before O.J., this was the original trial of the century.”

I knew this to be wrong. I recalled reading that the trial of Bruno Hauptmann (see: Lindberg Baby Kidnapping) as a “trial of the century” way back in 1935.

Wikipedia calls trial of the century “an idiomatic phrase used to describe certain well-known court cases, especially of the 20th century.” It then lists 22 trials (including five in the 21st century) that earned that moniker, from the trial of Leon Czolgosz for the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901 to the Bo Xilai trial in 2013.

Famous cases include Sacco and Vanzetti (1924), Leopold and Loeb (1924), Scopes monkey trial (1925), the Nuremberg trials (1945-46), Adolf Eichmann (1961), Charles Manson and his “family” (1970), Claus von Bulow (1982-85) Klaus Barbie (1987), O.J. Simpson (1995) and Yolanda Saldivar, who murdered Selena (1995).

The Menendez trial is not listed. I did a search of “Menendez Brothers Trial + Trial of the Century” and the only match I found was ABC hyping its special.

Come on, media, get with it!

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

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January 5, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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