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The 119 words you can't say on radio
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2010/03/16
1:45pm
corinthian
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I just read about this on the website for the great NPR program http://waitwait.npr.org

Choice bans include:
“Two to one margin” . . . “Two to one” is a ratio, not a margin. A margin is measured in points. It’s not a ratio.
5 a.m. in the morning
Close proximity
Completely destroyed, completely abolished, completely finished or any other completely redundant use
False pretenses
Shower activity
We’ll be right back

I sympathize with him on reducing redundancies, but some things are a bit crazy. This is where pet peeves meet corporate power.

2010/03/16
2:17pm
Glenn
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Wow. Those aren’t pet peeves: that’s a menagerie, an abattoir, a farm, a zoo, and a circus of peeves. And you picked some of the most legitimate of the bunch.

Honestly — “all of you”; “allegations”; “incarcerated”; “officials”; “pedestrian”; “really”.

Really?

My favorite is the — let’s be charitable — typo:
Behind the podium (you mean lecturn) [sic]

Some brat (“spoiled brat” should be on the list) grew up and made a list. Other networks are sure to reap the reward of real talent as they flee a management that is destined to fail.

2010/03/16
3:57pm
PrettyToney
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Is “close proximity” redundant because “far proximity” is contradictory?

To me, the word “close” in the phrase is meaningful because “in proximity” seems broad:

* In the same (non-tiny) room as me –> “in proximity”
* Standing a few inches from me –> “in close proximity”

BTW, “5 a.m. in the morning” totally bugs. God bless the day I can stop noticing it.

Speaking of “proximity,” does anyone know whether 3+ things can be “proximal”? I usually think of “proximal” as being a vector, so when I hear of 3+ things being “proximal” I start spinning my wheels out seeking directionality.

2010/03/16
4:07pm
PrettyToney
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OMG! Did you all see “Dubbaya when you mean double you”?

What if that’s just the way you pronounce W???

2010/03/16
4:54pm
Ron Draney
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I suppose announcer will have to start enunciating more carefully when they announce web addresses: “dub-bull-yoo-dub-bull-yoo-dub-bull-yoo”.

Or that can start saying “wuh-wuh-wuh” and see if he comes out with a new list.

2010/03/16
10:41pm
Jackie
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I worked in radio for a number of years. The very first rule I was taught was to enunciate W very clearly, as “double U.” “Dubya” or “dubbaya” was just not allowed. I always envied those on the west coast their Ks.

2010/03/18
9:02am
PrettyToney
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Ron Draney said:

I suppose announcer will have to start enunciating more carefully when they announce web addresses: “dub-bull-yoo-dub-bull-yoo-dub-bull-yoo”.

Or that can start saying “wuh-wuh-wuh” and see if he comes out with a new list.


ROFL! Nice one!

I knew someone who used “dub-dub-dub,” which was pretty clear but… jaRgonY.

2010/03/18
9:33am
Glenn
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I use “dubs” for the www when speaking. People look up, but they get it, even if they’ve never heard it. I figure why waste time on something everyone ignores.
Dubs dot waywordradio dot org

2010/03/21
7:32pm
Jeepien
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I just use the term “dub-bull-yooz” (plural of W) to pronounce “www”, which hurts my ears a good deal less than “dub-dub-dub”.

Although it’s true that the exact number isn’t specified, no one so far has asked me, “Wait, now how many W’s was that?”

2010/03/31
9:51pm
dilettante
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corinthian said:

Tribune Co. CEO Randy Michaels has issued a list of 119 words he does not want said by anchors or reporters on his radio station WGN-AM.


Just finished reading “Ambrose Bierce’s Write it Right”, by Jan Freeman. Michaels is following in a long and time-honored tradition of editors. Freeman mentions a number of 19th-century peevologists, including William Cullen Bryant of the New York Evening Post, who created an “Index Expurgatorius” ca. 1870.

A copy of the list can be viewed here: http://books.google.com/books?id=PqA4AAAAIAAJ&lpg=PA386&ots=wqgFIbhbs-&dq=index%20expurgatorius%20bryant&pg=PA386#v=onepage&q=index%20expurgatorius%20bryant&f=false

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