Here are a few more things that need to be off my television, and soon:
1. The 'two-minute warning' given near the end of all NFL games
Memo to NFL officials: Many of us were born at night. Few of us were born last night. And the more discerning of us have noted that there is no “two-minute warning” given near the end of televised collegiate football games.
At college games, there is a huge game clock for all to view. Fans, coaches and players all know when two minutes are left.
Fans, coaches and players at NFL games know when two minutes are left. The huge game clock makes sure no one is left in the dark on that matter.
So the NFL should come clean and admit that its “two-minute warning” is nothing more than a method of squeezing in another round of commercials before the game ends. There should be truth in advertising.
So the NFL needs to abandon its policy — or more accurately, its pretense — of giving out a “two-minute warning.” Call it what it is: the final round of commercial breaks.
There have been times when I’ve wondered if NFL games were broadcast simply to fill in the space between commercials. I get DirecTV’s “Sunday Ticket” package, which means I can tune in any game on any given Sunday. (And yes, as the more perspicacious among you might have surmised, I got the “Sunday Ticket” package in case Ravens games got too gruesome.)
When I turn to any particular game, chances are I might get that game. But there’s a better chance I’ll get one of the annoying commercials that accompany games.
On the other hand, when I turn to a soccer game, I’ve never had to put up with a commercial. I always get the soccer game.
That’s because soccer games run continuously — in two 45-minute halves — with no commercial breaks. So while I’m on the subject of what there needs to be less of on my TV, I feel it’s only appropriate to mention what there could be more of:
2. Ford’s 'Go Further' ad campaign
A memo to those Ford execs who gave the go-ahead for this campaign: The word “further” refers to extent or degree. The word “farther” refers to distance.
So the Ford campaign should have the slogan “Go Farther,” not “Go Further.” But cautious motorists, as a result of this Brobdingnagian boo-boo by Ford execs, will no doubt raise this question:
If those big brains at Ford don’t know simple stuff — like the difference between the words “farther” and “further” – then why should motorists trust them to know the complicated stuff?
Like knowing the finer points of manufacturing well-engineered automobiles?
3. The spate of poor English in general
Remember back in the days when television personalities — news anchors, meteorologists, sports announcers and the like — had to have virtually mastered the king’s English before they were even considered for an on-air job?
Those days are long gone. Today, it seems anybody can qualify for an on-air job just by showing up for the interview.
That might be why we’re hearing the kinds of things we hear on the air: errors in even the simplest noun-verb agreement and on-air personalities who haven’t a clue about when to use pronouns like “him,” “her,” “he” and “she.”
It’s enough to make any English teacher I had who’s still alive cringe with disgust; and it’s enough to send those who have died a-twirling in their graves.
When did horrible English become acceptable, and when did a mastery of the language become held in such low regard?
GREGORY KANE, a Washington Examiner columnist, is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to the Sudan.