Embarrassing Error #9

Local TV News Error

By Annette Rey

Some terms are vernacular, isolated to small communities. Sometimes they are non-standard words and are also called Americanisms. So this one may not be strictly called an error except for the venue in which it appeared. You decide on this one.

Watching the local news one night, a news ticker ran below the television screen. A heinous crime had occurred and the perpetrator’s description was flowing beneath the regular news.

Besides height, weight, etc. two words appeared to describe his coloring – dark complected. I do not remember if it was hyphenated.

Dictionary.com calls this a US dialect for the word complexion. I agree with that. It is dialect.

But, here again, I object to a news media, a group of journalists, not using the correct form of a word, in this case, complexioned.

The ticker should have read dark-complexioned.

I love and respect the English language and do not like to see it treated lightly. I love writing, too. If we study our language, we will be better writers. If a person studied journalism, shouldn’t he be held to a higher standard of word usage?

You decide.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s