Archive for March, 2007

I don’t know if I’m the last person to discover this, but a friend of mine found out that Google Maps appears to have a sense of humor. The following link is a set of directions on how to travel from NYC to Ireland. I direct the reader’s attention particularly to instructions #22-24:

Directions from New York City to Dublin, Ireland

I assume that this is Google Maps’ response to the phenomenon of people being directed to drive into train tracks, off cliffs, and into raging floodwaters by their on-board SatNav computer.

Today Fark links an article from about a kid waking up to discover he’s been shot.

What interests me about this article, however, is not the event itself, but this passage from the article’s text (emphasis added):

Despite taking a bullet to the stomach, the teenager was doing okay at Orlando Regional Medical Center after undergoing surgery early Wednesday morning.

Doing okay? Doing okay?? Is that the level of professional journalism these days? WFTV is not a small podunk news station, either. It is an ABC affiliate and considered the dominant news station in Central Florida, with a major lineup of programming.

I thought one of mainstream journalism’s primary criticisms of blogs was that blogs lack the multiple layers of quality control, including editing and fact-checking, that are characteristic of professional journalism. I don’t know about the facts in this article, but the editing appears to be either nonexistent, or performed by a 3rd grader.

Kyle adds this to his ongoing mental list of examples of the growing incompetence of the professional fields in our society. It is the direct result of bad education and poor parenting (probably more the former since the parents are likely to have suffered from it as well).

One of the things I was taught in English in school is that when writing a paper, words like “okay”, “nice”, and “very” were not acceptable unless they were direct quotes of people speaking. They are vague and unprofessional, and a sign of laziness. “Doing okay” does not tell me anything about the kid’s medical condition, and God knows hospitals have more specific terminology than that for someone’s condition.

Fark user carmody made the following comment about it:

Since when is the phrase “doing okay” acceptable in straight journalism? Shouldn’t that read, “…the teenager was in stable condition at…”?

It just keeps getting worse. In a few years that story will read: “So, like this kid woke up with a tummy ache like yesterday, right? And OMFG you won’t believe it: He had totally been shot with a bullet! I know! I know! But it’s cool. He’s doing okay in the hospital now. Be sure to leave a comment on his MySpace.”

I couldn’t have said it better.