Tree condoms, Fried Glass Onions and over-used words and phrases.



Breaking news. This is so surreal. I’ve decided to hunker down in this community of learners and find a person of interest to write about. There will be no up or down vote on this designer breed. A first time caller can contact FEMA if he or she is so inclined to protest my talking points. But if you do, I may dismiss your opinion out like junk science or toss it altogether like a used holiday tree. You may look at my ramblings as an accident that didn’t have to happen, but I’ve put a lot of thought into this and it’s 97-percent fat-free. If you want, drop me a line and if you are a first time caller, I’ll pass the savings on to you. I’m now finished with this rant, so Git-r-done Dawg.

Okay, forgive me folks; I went through the 2006 “List of Words and Phrases Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness” as compiled by Lake Superior State University. These are words and phrases that simply managed to get under people’s skin this year.

And speaking of phrases and words that will get under someone’s skin, please news people, when we get to that first snow or ice of the winter season, avoid the clichés. I know you will be tempted to use the phrase “winter wonderland” when it snows, “jack frost nipping at your nose” when it turns cold and the road has “become a parking lot” when it ices over. A former EP I worked with told me once that if you think it sounds like a cliché, it probably is. So when the “white stuff” falls, call it snow. That’s what it is. I can’t wait until I hear how “Mother Nature” has turned the MidSouth into an icebox or deep freeze. I know this admonition will fall through the cracks at the first sign of a snowflake as we collectively rush to the grocery stores to buy milk and bread. All it takes is one reporter, anchor or producer to say, “Today, I will not cliché”. Make me proud folks. I know you will.

Now, off my soapbox. My wife and I took down the Christmas tree yesterday. We’re leaving some decorations up until the Epiphany but the tree needed to go, as it was dry. It was a good tree. We put a tree condom on it to get it out of the house. A tree condom is what we call the large plastic white covering that keeps the needles from falling everywhere in the house. I took a picture of the tree in all of its glory in the house and then out on the curb. In my opinion, there are few things more sad looking than a used Christmas tree left on a curb. I did remove the tree condom after the picture so the tree can be recycled.

While Bethany and I took down and boxed up ornaments, we put on some non-Christmas music to work to. If you are a Beatles fan, you really need to listen to the “Fried Glass Onions/Memphis Meets the Beatles” Volumes 1 and 2. The covers say, “The Memphis music community comes together on this collection of Beatles songs to create a uniquely soulful tribute to the band who not only helped define a generation but also changed the course of popular music.” It was quite enjoyable and at times I was almost doing the white man’s under bite while attempting to dance. Thank you Billy Crystal for that image.

And two quick notes here. Good luck to Jamey Tucker today. He starts his new news gig at WKRN where he will be religion reporter in the new VJ shop. I’m sure today will be spent doing paperwork and being introduced to a bunch of people whose names he won’t be able to recall because there are so many of them.

And good luck to Dick Clark. I didn’t see his New Year’s program but I did see a clip of him last night on MSNBC’s Countdown. He’s a guy who apparently just does not give up.

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One Comment on “Tree condoms, Fried Glass Onions and over-used words and phrases.”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Here are a few words and phrases I’d like to add to the list:

    “went missing” – Can’t we just say the person is missing?

    “COP-killer” – For that matter, I’d like to get rid of the acronym COPS, period, at least in the news stories. It makes me feel like I’m watching an old Jimmy Cagney movie–you darn coppers!

    “Leave a little early” – I hear traffic reporters say that every day. Even if there aren’t any accidents, they say, “Leave a little early–just in case.”

    “O.C.” – If Dr. Smith is ever in the news again, I wish he’d be called Dr. Smith. Same with “A.C.” Call him Mayor Wharton. Why is it that public officials who go by initials are called by that in news stories when others are never called by their first names???


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