Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Just Say No to TV Speak

Have you ever noticed that English-speaking TV anchors sometimes seem to be using a strange dialect?  One that doesn't contain a past tense?  Absolutely everything is happening right this very second!  Or so they'd have you believe.  Recently "TV Speak" led a station in Texas astray in a major, embarrassing way.  This article, written for the Radio Television Digital News Association, explores the phenom.  The article is targeted to TV types, so it contains some "how to" information on how to resolve the problem.  But even if you're not in TV, you may find it worthwhile to pick up one more bit of knowledge on why those crazy TV guys and gals do the things they do.

The full article on the RTDNA website is here.


  1. Oh, yes! Maybe you've been reading my examples of wordiness gleaned from TV news (or my book The Frugal Editor!) http://bit.ly/FrugalEditorKind. Seems we can't have a complete sentence any more without the phrase "moving forward."
    Carolyn Howard-Johnson

  2. Thanks for weighing in! The best TV news people actually can write pretty well, and I learned from some good ones. But the bad habits are awful. Most people think the anchors write their own copy. Some do, and most check the work. But except in the very smallest markets, producers write most of the anchor copy (that's my background).