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Friday, 30 January 2015

Teach TV presenters the difference between 'is' and 'was'

Ignorance of the British language is shown every night on TV.

I have been irritated for some while at the decline in TV broadcasting standards - particularly in TV news programs. The presenters simply do not understand how to use the correct tense. The three basic verb tenses are:-   simple present, simple past, and simple future.

No doubt the vast majority of us are not are aware of those phrases- - but by dint of a decent education we surely do know how to apply them (even if unknowingly)

Take tonight's ITV news for example:
At the start of the news one Lady reporter said:  "Today Tower bridge is raised and  Sir Winston Churchill's funeral procession is recreated"
(I may not be word perfect here, but it is a perfectly good example of what happens in virtually every news bulletin these days)

The event had happened earlier today, (in the past), so the 'is' should have been 'was'
'IS' = present - 'WAS'  = past -  it's that simple. So why cannot news presenters speak correctly?

To make matters worse, as soon as she had finished, her male colleague repeated everything she said, but quite correctly did use 'was' instead of  'is' - and that leads me to point out that we are deemed to be so stupid as to have to be told everything twice!

Other examples:
''Tonight it is reported that"  - wrong, it should be,  "Tonight it will be reported" (or similar)
"Tomorrow the PM will say" -  that is a effectively a prediction of the future, it is not a statement of fact. (he may die overnight, or change his mind and say something else)
It should read something like "It has been reported that the PM will"

I won't even mention my other pet hate of reporters giving us their 'opinions' rather than just the facts. That subject is worth at least another three posts in itself.


  1. I do appreciate any comments whatsoever -

    Surely you mean "I will appreciate..."

    HTH - sixaparrat

  2. I think you are being far to pedantic here my friend,
    'do' 'will' and 'would' all suffice and neither is definitive - I chose 'do' for emphasis.

    The greater question is why you didn't bother to comment on the actual post, and had you read my site rule no.3 you could have saved yourself the trouble of that reply.

  3. 'twas a comment on the post.
    As you had stated, at the top of the blog, that you hadn't recieved any comments, so "do" did not reflect the actuality at the time.
    It does now of course.


I do appreciate any comments whatsoever -
but please know now that whilst this blog was created so folks can 'let off a bit of steam'
that I shall delete anything I consider may be offensive to other visitors.