Friday, May 23, 2008

Quickie - An open letter to the editors of NPR's "Morning Edition"

When you are writing a story for radio, one of the most important things to consider is the effect that pronouncing names of people being quotes on air can have when combined with regular English. Unlike television or print media, you can't rely on a captioned photo of said source to explain any confusion.

Case in point, in this morning's story on how the high price of gasoline might affect people's travel plans for the upcoming memorial day weekend, you had some quotes from the American Automobile Association's "National Travel Manager" - whose name just happened to be Michael Pena.

Overall this is a pretty innocuous name, but when Renee Montagne quotes him using the standard "[surname] says" format on radio, it creates - to put it delicately - "problems". Particularly for those of us who are men, and therefore are incapable of not hearing that phrase as "penises" if the diction is not *crystal* clear.

Thus, hopefully, Renee Montagne has learned the importance of diction even in this "go-go internet, product-placement ninja" media society.

Hee hee!

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