Now See Hear
If the content of the news weren’t crazy enough to keep me away from the nightly media scatshow, the failing language skills of the commentators is. They’ve forgotten the meanings of simple verbs like “listen” and “look.”
“Take a listen”
This is wrong. We can “take a look” because we can instantly register an image, which is then noun-ishly sort of takeable.
But we need time to get to the end of that juicy secret tape or moronic public statement. So “listening” is less of a nounish takeable and more of a verbish doable.
Apparently, though, you’re allowed to “take” unlimited “listens.” But I already have too many listens, so when they offer, I graciously decline.
“Look (you moron)”
Oddly, they say “Look!” when they want us to listen.
And they’re shirty about it, too, as if we pushed ahead in line at Starbuck’s.
“Look, Ari/Bill/Shemp…!” they snarl, when the interviewer asks a question — which is often a question I, too, would like answered.
But they don’t answer the question, because it was idiotic and you’re an idiot for asking it.
Finally, I took the hint and turned off the television.
Look, I said to the empty screen. It’s not me. It’s you.
You just never listened.