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Old 06-07-2007, 10:24 PM   #1
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Grammar/Style Question

This has been bothering me for some time.

TV newscasters appear to avoid using posessives in their reports. At least that's the case on the Boston TV stations and it's quite consistent. I can't say if it is so in the rest of the country.

e.g. a reporter will say, "The suspect was arrested in the house of his mother." Rather than, "The suspect was arrested in his mother's house."

That's just one example of many I've heard.

Have you noticed this? Anyone have an explanation?
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Old 06-07-2007, 11:56 PM   #2
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Old 06-08-2007, 02:03 AM   #3
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Most probably the station has adopted a more formal style of reporting the news. Other stations may opt for more informal news broadcasts. I do recall that in older times before the advent of CNN and 'field reports' from all over the world, the old news anchormen (eg. William Conkite) were speaking very formal and flawless English indeed.

Today, the chosen style may also hinge on locality. In the case of Boston especially, doesn't an old joke go something like when Americans hearing Englishmen talk they ask "What part of Boston are you from," if I remember right?
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Old 06-08-2007, 06:22 AM   #4
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I've never heard that expression and can assure you we don't talk like that. Maybe it is a more formal style. It just sounds not natural.
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Old 06-08-2007, 09:24 AM   #5
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Andy, I agree. Most of us don't talk like that.
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Old 06-08-2007, 09:45 AM   #6
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Here in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area, the reporters tend to use the present tense instead of the past tense. "The man goes into the house." Instead of "The man went into the house." Bugs me no end.
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Old 06-08-2007, 09:47 AM   #7
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And you Yankees have to admit you DO talk funny! We here in Oklahoma tawk reel nachural, don't ya no?
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Old 06-08-2007, 09:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldcampcook
And you Yankees have to admit you DO talk funny! We here in Oklahoma tawk reel nachural, don't ya no?
Sher nuff,oldcampcook

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Old 06-08-2007, 05:17 PM   #9
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Haven't noticed that here, Andy. I have noticed that newscasters all over often use the first, middle, and last names of criminal types, though:

John Wayne Gacy
Lee Harvey Oswald

I guess to avoid smearing all the nice Johhny Gacys and Lee Oswalds who live down the street from us.
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Old 06-08-2007, 08:17 PM   #10
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I seen the news tonight and I didn't notice anything funny about the way they was talkin'.


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Old 06-08-2007, 11:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudbug
Haven't noticed that here, Andy. I have noticed that newscasters all over often use the first, middle, and last names of criminal types, though:

John Wayne Gacy
Lee Harvey Oswald

I guess to avoid smearing all the nice Johhny Gacys and Lee Oswalds who live down the street from us.
I'm not 100% sure but I think those men actually used all three names. Maybe their moms were always mad at them. That is about the only time my daughter heard all three of her names!

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Old 06-09-2007, 09:21 AM   #12
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Mine too, Barbara!!!
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Old 06-09-2007, 01:56 PM   #13
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LOL If you hang out at our house long enough you may even hear an occasional, "JAMES MOSES LEONARD!!!"

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Old 06-09-2007, 03:05 PM   #14
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You know, Andy. It just goes to show you. It's always something!
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Old 06-09-2007, 03:14 PM   #15
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Andy, it would (I suspect) have something to do with the newscaster trying to remain "objective". If he is using possessives it would then seem like he had a more personal take on the news. In the news, you can never appear to be saying anything personal, you are just giving the facts. Just my thoughts though.
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Old 06-09-2007, 04:32 PM   #16
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Alix, that makes some sense, thanks.
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Old 06-10-2007, 01:24 PM   #17
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Glad I could help.
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Old 06-10-2007, 03:20 PM   #18
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I don't know if this applies but when I worked in the legal system it bugged me when news-casters and newspapers would say a defendant "pleaded innocent" to a charge. There is no such plea - it's either Guilty or Not Guilty. I then learned that they were wary of someone not hearing or missing the "not" part and themselves being open to some sort of lawsuit. I think they do these things to be overly clear.

Just my .02
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Old 06-10-2007, 05:07 PM   #19
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A phrase or term that bothers me is *gone (went) missing. I don't know if it first started popping up on crime scene tv shows or the news. i.e. So and so went mssing. I would rather they said, so and so IS missing. Gone or went implies they took a trip somewhere - maybe the market? Maybe, look under the bed or in the closet, & you'll find 'em. They may not have left.

*Not to be confused with the common grammatical error people make when they say 'I should have went,' when it should be 'I should have gone.' (It makes me flinch, haha.)

(My punctuation & spelling don't matter, btw )
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Old 06-10-2007, 05:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mish
A phrase or term that bothers me is *gone (went) missing. I don't know if it first started popping up on crime scene tv shows or the news. i.e. So and so went mssing. I would rather they said, so and so IS missing. Gone or went implies they took a trip somewhere - maybe the market? Maybe, look under the bed or in the closet, & you'll find 'em. They may not have left.

*Not to be confused with the common grammatical error people make when they say 'I should have went,' when it should be 'I should have gone.' (It makes me flinch, haha.)

(My punctuation & spelling don't matter, btw )
Mish,that phrase drives me around the bend too. Everytime I hear it, I flinch.
Sure nice to know I'm not alone
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