Sunday, January 11, 2009

One subject is enough, thank you

Weekend sports programs brought this one to the fore, but it's also become much too common on journalism-based shows like "Today." Matt Lauer, are you listening?

I forget the exact name for it, but I'll call it noun-pronoun redundancy: "Eli Manning, he's having a rough day," or "Neil Young, he's got a new album." That's how it's most commonly said. For a long time we heard "Neil Young. He's got a new album," and lived with it, rationalizing that a subject without a verb (sometimes trumpeted in a way that would require an exclamation point if rendered in print) was akin to a "label" headline. But now broadcasters are running it all together, and it's bad grammar. Once, it was a good indicator of poor education. Now, it mainly displays ignorance.