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KRIS-TV News Report Riddled with English Usage Errors

June 23rd, 2007

Approximately four months ago, I received an email about a food product recall that was beginning to affect the grocery stores and supermarkets in our local area. When I checked the bottom of the email for the source, I noticed that it was from our local NBC affiliate, KRIS-TV. Amazingly, I found that the report was full of errors even though it was coming from what is supposed to be a professional news station.

I replied to the email with a detailed list of the errors and my suggested corrections. Earlier today when I was trying to come up with some ideas for humorous blog posts, I remembered this report after I read another one from the same news source that also contained two word usage errors. After going back through my old email folder, I was able to track down the original report again. It turns out that even after four months, they have only managed to correct one of the errors that I had noticed (the “effected” vs. “affected” mistake is the one that is now fixed), but have left the other five completely untouched! Here is the original report from February 26, with my reply between the lines below:


http://www.kristv.com/Global/story.asp?S=6135605 << Original source of article, now deleted by KRIS-TV

Updated 3/28/08: Original text of article archived at cfs-info.com forum

OK, this one deserves a reply not so much because of the content, but because it seems that we have a reporter who is in serious need of my proofreading services! After my eyes stumbled over a rather obvious word usage error (”too” vs. “to”) near the end of the article, I went back and read it again. So far, I have detected a total of six errors in English usage:

1. From the third paragraph: “H-E-B stores have pulled the effected products off the shelves.”

The word “effected” should be changed to “affected”.

2. Also from the third paragraph: “The Peter Pan recall has now lead to salmonella reports in 41 states including Texas.”

The correct past participle of “to lead” should be “led”, not “lead”. Just to make sure that I was correct, I did a search on this and turned up this useful reference site on correct English usage:

http://www.usingenglish.com/reference/irregular-verbs/lead.html

3. From the fifth paragraph (next to the last one): “A recall of certain Dole cantaloupes because certain cartons were found with salmonella also.”

This appears to be a fragment rather than a complete sentence. Suggested correction: “There was also a recall of certain varieties of Dole cantaloupes because salmonella was found in some of the cartons.”

4. Also from the fifth paragraph: “allowing shoppers to continue buying at least most of the items they’re used too buying.”

The “too” near the end of the sentence should be changed to “to”.

5. From the last paragraph: “Here what consumers need to
know about the chicken breast strip recall.”

There seems to be a word missing from this sentence. Suggested correction: “Here is what consumers need to know about the chicken breast strip recall.”

6. Again, from the last paragraph: “It’s for Oscar Mayer and Louis Rich products, and now includes all sizes and flavors, previously it was just certain varieties.”

This appears to be a run-on sentence. Suggested correction: “It’s for Oscar Mayer and Louis Rich products, and it now includes all sizes and flavors; previously it was just certain varieties.” OR “It’s for Oscar Mayer and Louis Rich products, and it now includes all sizes and flavors. Previously, the recall had affected only certain varieties.”

It appears that this reporter seriously needs to brush up on the English skills, or at least have someone proofread the news copy before it is actually published. Otherwise, these kinds of articles could eventually result in some embarrassing publicity for the organization that published this article.


Interestingly, this is not the first time that KRIS-TV has issued these kinds of sloppily written reports. I have seen at least six other reports that contained two or more obvious errors in English usage from this same source over the past few months. Their most recent faux pas can be found here: Channel 6 reporter Bart Bedsole goofs again. Specifically, the errors are:

1. “Corpus Christi shoppers got a look a new Padre Staples Mall…”

This sentence does not make sense as written. Probably he meant to say, “Corpus Christi shoppers got a look at a new Padre Staples Mall…”.

2. “Thursday night, the head of Trademark Properties talked to a crowd of about of 100 about their intentions.”

If we remove the word “of” that I have highlighted in bold, this sentence would read much better.


UPDATE 3/28/08: After starting my English usage category, I revisited this page today and discovered that KRIS-TV has now removed the first Bart Bedsole article from the site. However, I managed to find an archived copy of the original article text at the cfs-info.com forum. Meanwhile the second article referenced here is still extant as of today.


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