Monday, December 30, 2013

Hanging's Too Good For 'Em

Today on NPR: "And tonight, that's New Years Eve Night..."

This from a radio station whose broadcasters belligerently and prominently pronounce the "p" in "exerpt" and who host regular grammar-nazi festivals where the works of people who've become famous for their songs or books are held up to ridicule as linguistic dolts by people We The Listeners have never heard of.

A couple of months ago one smug git who shall remain nameless droned on for nearly a quarter of an hour in an oily voice over the Daily News using the word "Controller" instead of "Comptroller" (it's a public office). Apparently this guardian of language was the only person in New York (including your humble scribe) who didn't know that both forms are in common and acceptable use and have been since mid 1984 when I was first in a position to notice. Eventually he paused to draw breath and his engineer was able to get a word in edgeways to tell him the facts of the matter.

Then he went on for another two minutes of the possible political ramifications of the Daily News picking one form over the other until his phone-in expert commentator told him that he didn't think it was as significant as it might be in the Washington Post - which prides itself in such subtle and therefore largely unnoticed wordplay - and suggested they move on.

Gordon Bennet!

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