Friday, March 26, 2010

Is it all one word? Is it all one title?

I love what Amy Goodman does on Democracy Now!; in fact it makes most other news casts, even NPR's, seem incredibly tame. But there's just something strange and wrong about the way she introduces her show every day.

1) "From Pacifica, this is Democracy Now." What the hell is "Pacifica"? A studio? A radio station? A town? A company? A sponsor? An east Asian deity? A small island nation?

2) "This is Democracy Now the War and Peace Report I'm Amy Goodman." She rattles off this non-sequitur sequence of words and titles like it's all one phrase, so the relationship between them doesn't really make sense at all. "The War and Peace Report" is supposed to be a subsection of the show, but it comes off like part of the show's title or the name of its website. Drives me nuts.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday, December 7, 2009

"I crafted it entirely by hand!"

The image descriptions on people's Wikipedia photographs always crack me up. Take this gem, for example:

"I (AdamFirst) created this work entirely by myself."

...Right. Lo, I, Adam, had no help at all. Nobody helped me point the camera. Nobody carried me to Broad Street; I walked there all on my own. I supplied all the energy to the finger that pushed the shutter button; no one helped me. Heck, I even placed that van there, right in the middle of the photograph, all by myself.

Good work, guy.

Another common howler is the "self-made image" (I warn you, do NOT Google "'self made image' wikipedia". You will regret it.) "Self made image" conjures up the notion of some lonely artiste, slaving away into the wee hours of the night, painfully chiseling away at some hyper-detailed wood cutting, and finally lifting aloft his self-made image for all the world to see.

Instead, it's usually some point and shoot crap.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Carnegie pronunciation

Really, NPR? Andrew "Car-NAY-gee"? So everyone who calls the place in New York "CARN-uh-gee" Hall is wrong, or what?

Combined with the nasally voiced guy who does the NPR sponsorship announcements, it's enough to drive a man to drink. (To drink Bud Light, of course.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What's the difference between Bud Light and raw sewage?

Radio and print ads play second fiddle to television, which means if you're not a frequent television viewer, the often incomplete radio and print components of an ad campaign can sound bizarre. It took me months to discover what the "They Miss You" sleep ad campaigns were about.

Case in point: Bud Light's "The Difference is Drinkability" slogan. Apparently, nobody at Anheuser-Busch thought this one through. "The difference is drinkability! That other stuff is undrinkable swill, but ours is drinkable! Just barely." Thanks, guys, but I tend to set the bar for my beverages a little higher than that.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"If you see them, give us a call."

I sometimes question the effectiveness of NPR corporate sponsorship. For example, a company called Seaman's has been running a spot for at least two weeks, but I can't even find them on the web. They make... uh... light rail? And some other technology-sounding stuff, but a search for like five different selling variants of "Seamons", with and without "light rail" and "green energy" turns up nothing.

Like many NPR spots, the message is a little wonky, too. It ends with:

"...Somewhere in America, you'll find Seamans' 69,000 employees at work."

Somewhere? What, did they lose them?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

"Enough for your meal"

Man, if Coke wants me to stare at their ads, they need to bring back the "Let's drink two" girl. She was a lot more appealing than this latest billboard/poster ad with the Coke 2-pack that's "enough for your meal", which makes it sound about as appealing as... I dunno... gruel.