I'm Just Sayin'
Random Thoughts from a Random Guy

Don’t Say It

Makin' some TV magic!

Makin' some TV magic!

In the world of news, there are certain things you can’t say on the air. Obviously, four letter words are pretty much a big no-no. Especially on the local level. I think we connect with people here, and the last thing they want to hear is a foul mouthed news anchor. Besides, lots of kids are watching too, so we make it family friendly.

Besides the words you can’t say, I think each anchor has a list of words they won’t say. Not because they are bad words, maybe because they don’t like the word or phrase or maybe they disagree with it somehow.

Sometimes I change a script from the desk, here I'm just doodling.

Sometimes I change a script from the desk, here I'm just doodling.

I’m going to share some of my pet peeve words and phrases in this blog. I actually got the idea from my co anchor Emily. I hope she doesn’t mind me “ratting” her out, but she’s not a fan of the phrase “these tough economic times.” It’s pretty much become a cliché. A couple of weeks ago, she changed a script that said it before we went on the air, and then I told her I was going to work it in somewhere else in the show, just for laughs. I did it and everyone who was in on the conversation got a kick out of it.

Another colleague of mine doesn’t like the term “folks” when referring to people. Someone else doesn’t say “behind bars”. They have their reasons for it.

An actual script for a package.

An actual script for a package.

The top three things I won’t/don’t say on the air:

1. Drunk driving accident. You’ve all heard it. A 23 year old was killed today in a drunk driving accident… I stopped using the term after hearing from a woman who lost her daughter from the actions of a drunk driving. Her reasoning makes perfect sense, drunk driving is not done on accident. Someone choses to drink to much and then get behind the wheel. So out of respect to people who have lost someone or been hurt in a drunk driving crash, I’ve dropped accident from my writing. And it’s not just saying the three words together, I won’t refer to it as an accident anywhere else in the script. I’ll say the crash or wreck instead.

2. School/city/hospital officials. IMO, official is a generic term. I try to say school administrators, city leaders, hospital administrators, management, etc. It’s a minor thing, just one of those things that someone with a whole lot more experience in this business has taught me.

3. This weekend (after the weekend has occurred). I hear this all the time. Someone will write “this weekend” in a script on Monday or Tuesday and be referring to the previous Saturday and Sunday. This implies the weekend coming up, not the one we just had. Again, probably a nit picking thing, but one that I avoid at all costs.

Not the most exciting blog, I know. But it’s something I wanted to share.

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3 Responses to “Don’t Say It”

  1. Totally agree…especially #1. I am picky on words, as well…and bad grammar, and incorrect spelling, among other things. 😉 I can’t stand “folks”, “ya’ll”, “pop”, “worsh” (WASH does not have an OR in it!)…Ok, I’ll stop here or this will turn into my blog! lol

  2. Oh no, Kevin, this was *very* interesting. As a high school art teacher, I have to watch what I say too, and to make my life easier I’ve forced myself to think like a 14 year-old boy. Example: when you do an ink drawing made with dots, that technique is called stippling, a.k.a. stipple, which I can’t say because it rhymes with nipple. When we are making things with clay, I can’t ever say “ball,” as in “roll the clay into a ball” for obvious huh-huh reasons.

  3. Huhuhuhuh stipple


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