Even NPR Can Say Stupid Things

Every morning I listen to somewhere between a half hour to an hour and a half of NPR between my bedroom clock radio and sometimes on the drive in to work – when I’m not listening to the iPod, that is. This morning the host of Morning Edition said something that was really quite amazingly stupid, purely from a grammatical angle.

I wish I could quote the exact line, but of course we can’t get to the NPR rebroadcast site from work because listening to internet radio could lead to civil unrest and general chaos in the office. So I’m forced to paraphrase. She said something to the effect of: The U.S. death toll in Iraq reached its highest milestone this weekend.

Now think about this. Every single U.S. death in Iraq causes that number to be the highest ever. That number will NEVER GO DOWN. I realize that they were trying to make a point about the fact that the death toll reached the big round number of 4,000, but the way the sound blurb was worded was quite frankly stupid. It’s kind of like saying that the number of days since the year 2000 is the highest it’s ever been – and tomorrow, it’ll be the highest it’s ever been again.

This has nothing at all to do with the actual war or the importance of the lives lost – it’s just the way that said it.


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