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The King’s English and Little Rock talk radio

In listening to talk radio in Little Rock and noticing how callers (and sometimes even the hosts) abuse the English language, I don’t know whether to:

a. Laugh and thoroughly enjoy what I’m hearing for its entertainment value

b. Despair over the English education folks in this state are getting in school (or at least the education they received when these callers were young. We can only hope it has improved.)

Last week, I was listening to a news talk station when a caller said about health care reform: “Even if Congress passes something decent, the aristocrats in government will mess it up.”

Do you figure that caller meant “bureaucrats?”

Of course, having lived in Washington, I can assure you that a lot of bureaucrats act like aristocrats. So perhaps we should let that one pass.

On Friday afternoon, meanwhile, there was a fellow on a Little Rock sports talk station who played for a short time in the NFL. He was trying to defend Michael Vick. He said: “You know, in a lot of other countries, dogs and cats are considered delicatessens.”


So in New York, we have the Stage Deli and the Carnegie Deli.

Abroad, it might be the Beagle Deli and the Siamese Cat Deli.

I wish I had written down more of these radio moments. They come at us hot and heavy each day in this market on the locally produced shows.

In a recent sports discussion, a man was complaining that the outcome of a game was changed when the referee blew an “inverted whistle.”

The hosts never tried to correct him. Maybe they thought he was correct.

I could only assume an “inverted whistle” is one with the little ball on the outside.

What are some of the more interesting uses of the English language you’ve heard on talk radio? I would love to hear your best stories.

I’ll hang up and listen.

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