Review of Resu-Card (TM) Site by Toronto Business Times

Posted Tuesday, July 31, 2001

Radio personalities need lesson in grammar

By Andrew Palamarchuk, Toronto Business Times

NOTE: Links have been updated to reflect current web addresses

A local businessman says Toronto area radio stations are killing the English language and has exposed what he says are the worst errors on his Web site.

Resume writer Howard Halpern said he hopes to motivate local radio broadcasters to improve their use of the language.

"My Web site is about resumes but I decided to include a detailed section on language because I'm concerned about contemporary usage especially on radio. The reason I single radio out is because I listen to it a lot and I love the medium," he said. "I feel bad about what's happening to radio. In my opinion they're increasingly misusing the language in our area."

Halpern cites dozens of examples of misuses of the language on his Web site, According to Halpern, there are more errors on Toronto radio stations than in New York City and Chicago.

"When listening to stations in our area, I find it easy to catch errors quickly, usually within five minutes," he said. "In the remote markets (New York City), I can listen for 10, 20, 30 minutes and fail to detect any major gaffe."

Toronto stations typically say in their weather forecasts "a mix of sun and clouds." Halpern said the statement is absurd.

"The sun and cloud can't mix. The sun is 93 million miles away from the earth. If they were to mix, the clouds will be instantly destroyed because of the heat of the sun," he said. "The announcers don't seem to realize the absurdity of such a statement. Obviously they're all copying each other and no one is thinking."

Local stations also say the "low will be dipping down to 15 degrees." Halpern pointed out that it's not the low that will be dipping down, it's the temperature.

He said weather announcers tend to catastrophize the forecast to retain audience. "They often say there's a 'risk' or 'threat' of showers. But this is not a threat but a necessity. The human race would come to an end without precipitation," Halpern said. . . .

Halpern said he knows radio broadcasters are under pressure to write quickly but said they should be more careful. "They carry influence. If they use language poorly, this has a negative effect on the populace."

© Inc. 2000, 2001

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