Friday, October 12, 2012

It's the little things...

Just a quick, weird little aside.  I was looking at an article on MSNBC's website this morning about the vice-presidential debate last night.  The author, one Michael O'Brien, made an aside that the President's performance a week or so ago was laconic.

What?  Laconic?  Clearly neither the author nor the editor actually knows what the word laconic means.  I mean, opinions will certainly vary on the performance of the various debators, but I don't know anyone who has made the claim that the President was dry, pithy or sarcastic, and it's clear from context that O'Brien wasn't trying to say that either.

In fact, it's pretty clear that what he meant to say was lackadaisical, but only got as far as lac- and then faltered and picked the first word that started with lac- that he could think of.  And this is a journalist?  And this article went through an editor?  That's depressing.  Words matter.  You can't just substitute one for another when they actually mean something completely different.

Clearly editorial careers in the world of journalism have devolved significantly.  I'm trying here to come up with a way to compare them to malarkey, and not quite getting there, so I'll quit while I'm ahead.

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