The Glass House is acutely aware that participles are now dangled with such gay abandon in Australian media that some of the grizzled old scribes and retired hack subs who read this column think that battle has been long lost and we need to move on.
They are probably right but if they can say “meh!’ then so can we.
We can’t help ourselves in still picking up their use, considering it appears it’s almost compulsory in television newsrooms around the nation.
If we let the dangling particple go uncriticised, what’s next? Singular and plural nouns and verbs whisked together in a confused and messy mix. Adverbs and adjectives mistreated and abused? Tenses shredded. All the basic rules of grammar tossed aside because no-one cares any more, particular the young who are no longer watching the mainstream evening news anyway?
Well, the old dinosaurs at The Glass House still care and it is with sadness that the latest examples of horribly dangled participles come from a journo whose work in the field we greatly admire, the ABC’s Sydney crime reporter Mark Reddy.
In his report during the ABC’s Sydney 7pm TV news on Monday night of a mother-of-three slain in her Fairfield home, Mark proved more a hangman than a dangler, dropping a few errant participles from a great height to their grammatical demise.
He began one sentence with “Suffering deep stab wounds, paramedics raced to her rescue….” and surely they deserve a bravery award for doing that instead of taking themselves straight off to a hospital emergency department?
He followed up soon after with this doozey: “Speaking only Arabic, detectives are relying on an interpeter…” Ah, multicultural Australia. There are good jobs for everyone who wants them, even if they can’t speak English.
Or use it properly, as Mark Reddy seemed intent on showing us on Monday night.
It appears Steve Carey (pictured) takes his role as a media trainer and crisis management expert very seriously indeed, as his appearance on ABC’s News Breakfast on Tuesday showed.
During his What the Papers Say segment, he appeared to be giving Prime Minister Scott Morrison the benefit of his training, using very carefully selected words to explain – and yet somehow protect at the same time – the PM’s role in calling for the world to examine how and where COVID-19 began.
The Glass House doesn’t have the time or resources to play back all the relevant tapes, but what’s left of our collective memories is that Morrison was far more specific as to where he though the virus began and who was to blame for secrets kept when he took on the role of dumb deputy dog to Trump and did his dirty work for him.
We’re pretty sure Morrison doubled down on his call for China to be investigated over the pandemic’s origins and his mad-dog barking on the topic on behalf of the Orange Baboon in Washington was duly noted in Beijing.
Australia’s agriculture sector has been paying the price ever since. Anyone know how Californian wine exports to Jina are going?
A weekly TV guide has been a feature of most major newspapers ever since the idiot box arrived in our loungerooms in the 1950s.
They’ve always had pretty straightforward names, like “Weekly TV Guide”.
But News Corp Australia major dailies now carry a seven-day program guide in their mid-week editions that’s called the “Mid-Week Binge Guide”.
What a coincidence! Binge is the name of the streaming service launched this year by struggling pay TV provider Foxtel to compete with the likes of Netflix, Stan and Disney-Plus.
You may recall that Foxtel is majority owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp Australia, so it’s quite the case of serendipity for someone in News Corp to come up with that name isn’t it?
It’s also a sensational coincidence that the word “Binge” is presented in the exact same font used by the streaming service as its corporate logo. What are the odds?
But wait, it gets even more coincidental. A check of editions in the past few weeks reveals that the front-page review of the weekly lift-out has more than favoured programs aired by Foxtel or Binge.
We’re sure that programs screening on platforms other than those owned and operated by News Corp or related entities will get a look in on that prime promotional page.
Well, pretty sure. Well, let’s just wait and see, shall we?