I just heard an unthinking air personality end his time on the air with the phrase "well, that about does it for me, I'm out of here."
Since neither I nor the radio was going anywhere, it made me wonder who, from this jock's perspective, is more important - me, the listener? Or, him? (the crutch makes it obvious that he's just mouthing words and not even thinking about saying something meaningful to me, unless he's contemplating suicide .. other of course than career suicide, which his choice of self-involved verbiage is "slowly, surely" - to use yet another cliche - doing)
The day of the radio 'show' ended with Arthur Godfrey and Art Linkletter, and even the biggest station that is aware of how folks consume our content today has an audience of just ONE LISTENER. Today's smart personalities talk to that person one to one, engaging them as if they were talking to a friend, not just a microphone.
Radio's strength is our ability to engage the imagination and emotions, creating intimacy and trust. But, it doesn't happen automatically. The words you choose to use either make it happen or do not.
The best pronoun to use is YOU, never the antiquated "editorial we."
News writing coach Mervin Block is the author of "Writing Broadcast News -- Shorter, Sharper Stronger" and I feel confident that he'd agree. He recently caught CNN News engaging in hackneyed writing too.
More Block tips and articles are at http://www.mervinblock.com/. You can reach him (or sign up for his free tips list) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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