Tuesday, October 23, 2007

news talk

Since when have television news anchors dropped verbs out of every other sentence? I guess it began when 24 hour news channels began, and anchors began ad-libbing. Their clipped non-sentences lend an air or urgency, as in: this emergency is so great I am leaving out verbs to save time!

"And now the firefighters exhausted from their efforts, obviously. Anne, what can you tell us about recent developments?"

"Well, everyone here very concerned over the situation as you can see, John. Winds not letting up even now, and the sky covered with smoke."

They are almost sketching with words, leaving out "to be." It is breathlessness of tone, translated to grammatical structure. Maybe they are speaking in headlines. It is curious.

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