Have you noticed? On TV or in the movies:
90% of the time, nobody eats the food when they are supposed to be having a meal. Why? Is it fake? Old? Cold? At breakfast, it’s one sip of a beverage and they’re out the door, to school, the office, or some appointment. What is supposed to keep them going until lunch–which they won’t eat, either? Does hard-working Mom just throw the food into the trash, then? What kind of message is that to the viewing audience? Or am I the only one who cares?
Two people in the car, and the driver often takes his/her eyes off the road while talking to the passenger for so long that I get nervous, even though I know the “car” is a cutaway prop and is not moving, while the scenery goes by on film, and he will not have an accident unless it’s in the script.
Cell Phones: “Everyone has a Smart Phone,” you hear in the commercials, just as “everyone” has a Facebook and Twitter account. My cell phone does not even have a QWERTY keypad. And the ease with which all the teens and 20-somethings on TV appear to carry on instant text conversations, scheduling, and transactions is certainly not typical. I got my cell/mobile phone so I could talk to people when I am away from home, and I pay as little as I can to keep that service. Why should I pay $100 a month to carry around a hand-held computer?
Words & Phrases
One local talk show host says he is going to tell his listeners “a heart-rendering story.”
Many news personalities mispronounce “pundits,” inserting an n between the i and t. Three people I can think of who do this are Sarah Palin, Michelle Obama, and Diane Sawyer.
This one is uttered by educated and common folk alike: “not that big of a deal.” The expression has several variations, but the error is the placement of the prepositional phrase after an adjective (big, bad, hard, much, etc.) If you are going to use the slang expression, please omit the “of” and say, “not that big a deal.”
And still being heard: “Noo-kyuh-ler.” Need I say more? It makes you sound like a hick. (I wanted to thump George Dubyuh every time he said that, though I think he has shown a great deal of dignity and “class” since leaving the public spotlight.)
New “Smart Meters” are being installed in my city. This will allow remote reading of the meters, and the power companies won’t have to pay so many techs to go out to homes and businesses to read the meters on site. What we are hearing in the radio commercials, however, is this: “Your Smart Meter EMPOWERS YOU because no one has to come into your yard to read it. It can be read remotely. This protects your privacy.”
(So much for that BS!) Actually, this empowers THEM, not you. Soon the regulations on home and building wiring will change to permit remote access and control of thermostats, etc. While it is nice that the power company will know right away when there is a power outage, and can get started fixing it sooner, it also means that they will have the means to turn off the power to a neighborhood for several minutes if there is a heavy demand on the power grid. They can determine when or at what temperature your air conditioner or heater comes on, and perhaps when your lights will shut off. Don’t you find that empowering? I find it terrifying.