The talking heads on the Indian news television channels and the art of destroying the English language.

By | April 22, 2017

I rarely watch any television, but once in a while I will pause for a minute or two to watch whatever is playing on TV and, man, do I instantly regret making that mistake. Holy Beelzebub, are the shows awful? No wonder television is also called the idiot box. The dull television programming surely destroys the thinking brain. It seems televisions have an invisible proboscis that sucks out the grey matter and renders a person incapable of any intelligent thought.

Content is king. Well, maybe not… because even s**t sells on TV, nowadays!

Idiot-box, otherwise known as television.

Television—the actual weapon of mass destruction (WMD). Maybe, we should all go to war to have this WMD destroyed. See the irony there? Image sourced from Wikipedia; modified by Omygdala.

Most television shows are boring as hell. They are all about ads on fairness creams, deodorants, undergarments for men, sanitary napkins, malted drink mixes for children, men and pregnant women, and investing in mutual funds; TV dramas on family fights, skirmishes between two rich families, spurned lovers contemplating revenge, police files and women being tormented by other women/men; reality shows about people isolated in a house, who are scheming to throw somebody under the bus, conniving to get somebody booted out or cat-fighting with each other; comedy shows replete with vulgar jokes, double entendre, insinuations, cross-dressing and laughs at the expense of people with some form of disability.

Then, you have professional sports on TV. The country loves the elixir that is professional sports. It seems many people love to get their fix and get high by watching men hit the ball/balls out of the park, kick the ball into a net, kick, punch or beat the living daylights out of each other or dunk a ball… and get paid millions of dollars doing it. Are you not entertained, people? As long as you are distracted by what’s not important, you will fail to notice that you being robbed blind by the people who hold the strings that make you dance to their tunes.

“Break-in” news

The only shows that are worth watching, not because they reveal anything of any real value but because of the comic relief they provide, are the 24 hours news channels on TV. Because it is here that you get to watch morons masquerading as experts and shouting abuses at each other, while the host of the show is busy screaming ‘one sec, ladies and gentlemen‘. ’tis also in these news channels that you get to witness various English words being mispronounced and phrases being misused by the ‘teleprompter reader,’ also known as the newscaster/anchor/host, and the so-called ‘on-location‘ reporters. Most importantly, every-freaking-thing is ‘Breaking News‘ in the 24 hours news channel circuit.

The usual suspects

Mostly, the Hindi news channels are the worst offenders. They will over-dramatize their presentation and make it garish for the shock-factor. For example, if they are reporting a plane crash, they will add some cringeworthy music to the visuals, sounds of screaming passengers, high-pitched whistle of a jet engine, various sound effects such as loud bang and clatter, sounds of babies crying, etc. The moron producers of those news programs do not realize that their responsibility is to just report the news and leave the phony dramatics aside. However, they don’t, maybe because gore sells in India and drives the advertising revenue. After all, channels are broadcasting various programmings to make money. The content of the shows are of secondary concern to them—just means to an end. They probably couldn’t care less, as long as they continue to make the moola.

Tomahto/tomayto…

Shakespeare, in the play Romeo and Juliet, had written, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” It seems that the teleprompter readers/on-location reporters of various English and Hindi news channels have changed the above line to say, “What’s in a word? We will make English words and phrases up as we go, even if they makes us sound and look like an ass.” Those teleprompter readers/on-location reporters of various English and Hindi news channels will mispronounce English words without batting an eyelid. For example, they will say:

Hinglish

In addition, the teleprompter readers will routinely use incorrect words and phrases. Their producers should ask them to stop saying:

  • updation‘; it is not a word
  • prepone‘; it is not a word. By the by, what the heck do you mean when you say ‘historysheeter‘, ‘airdash‘, and ‘cheatercock‘?
  • with regards to/in regards to‘. It is ‘with regard to’ or ‘in regard to’
  • comprise of‘ when you mean ‘compose of‘ (Comprise vs Compose)
  • do the needful
  • homely‘ when you mean ‘homey‘. Homely means unattractive. Homey is probably the word you are looking for.
  • cooling glasses‘ when you mean sunglasses
  • revert back‘, because back is redundant.
  • ‘rubber’ instead of eraser. By the way, in the US, a rubber is a slang for a condom.

Furthermore, stop saying ‘you know‘ after a few words or phrases. There are better filler words you can use. Also, stop using “absolutely” while responding to ‘abso-freaking-lutely‘ everything. See what I did there? Stop making your arguments using the ‘absolutely-you know‘ methodology—”Absolutely, blah blah blah, you know… make-a-silly-observation… you know, blah blah stupid-remark… you knowabsolutely, you know, blah cringeworthy-reasoning… you know, you know, you know, eno.

’tis freaking irritating to hear news presenters and reporters talking in that manner. I can understand an average person such as myself stuttering, stammering and searching for the right words when responding to questions or putting forth arguments. However, you folks are on TV, have been trained to speak on camera with confidence; surely, your delivery can and should be better, and not punctuated by ‘you know(s)‘ and ‘absolutely(s)

Next, don’t mix Hindi words with English. For instance, don’t say:

  • We hope (ki) good sense prevail.
  • Don’t say ‘matlab‘, when you want to say ‘I mean’.

“Programming…”

Finally, I have always wondered, is it called ‘television programming’, because mass media is used to ‘program’ the thoughts of the masses to conform to the narrative, to never question the authorities or the experts, and to believe in the propaganda. I believe that observation may carry some weight, considering the fact that most people have no independent thought and swallow what’s offered on TV, hook, line and sinker.

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