Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Jernalists Who Cant Spel

There's a difference between typos (which a lot of journalists make) and having no idea what the word is, so you accept what the spell checker suggests. From September 11, 2007 KMVT channel 11:
Monday evening, a base jumper dangled from the Perrine Bridge after his parachute got tangled in one of the beams. Gary Golay, a witness says, “his cute opened at about 56 feet. And as soon as it opened, the wind blew it shut, threw it straight into the gerter.”

After hanging for two hours, repelling squads from search and rescue and St. Luke’s lowered him to a boat, where he was life flighted to the hospital.

Sgt. Darron Brown, Twin Falls Co. Sheriff reported, “The bridge is kind of a unique situation, because just repelling off the bridge or being belayed off the bridge in this instance that the gentleman was in, you can't just reach him by going off of the bridge. We had to send a couple of people on the catwalk underneath the bridge, throw a line to the paramedic that was being belayed down to him, so that we could reach him and treat the victim.”
Okay, I will assume that "cute" was just a missing "h." But "gerter" instead of "girder" and "repelling" instead of "rappelling"?

I'm a bit disappointed by "after his parachute got tangled in one of the beams." It's valid English, and if the "jernalist" quoted someone, I would give him high marks for capturing the flavor of a not very educated person. But most people that write for a living recognize that "got" is a very weak and uneducated verb. Something like "after his parachute became tangled in one of the beams" or "after his parachute tangled itself in one of the beams" would be more appropriate to a news organization--not a junior high student's description of the event.

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