Saturday, October 06, 2007

See what I mean?


Today, I noticed a perfect example of everything that is wrong with local news.

Here is the actual headline from a KVOA (Tucson) story:

BRAIN EATING AMOEBA IN TUCSON WATER SUPPLY

There is more wrong with this story than just the shocking lack of a hyphen in "brain-eating" in the headline. Unless, of course, there is a brain, currently eating amoeba, in Tucson's water supply.

But as soon as you get past the alarmist, ungrammatical headline, the story quickly loses steam. Here are the actual facts, as revealed by the end of the article (and I encourage you to click on the article and read it for yourself):

1. The only way to get infected is to inhale infected water through your nose.
2. Any water actually coming out of a tap or faucet has been chlorinated, and thus is not infected.
3. Tucson water officials have already confirmed that there is no threat.
4. The risk of a normal person encountering the amoeba is "practially zero."

So in other words: THERE IS NO DANGER. But that wouldn't make a very interesting headline, now, would it?

5 comments:

Steve said...

Some recent dictionaries have taken to omitting all hyphenated words because people don't know when to use hyphens anyway. I hate it, but we'll all have to live with non-hyphenated dictionaries soon enough.

Bridget said...

Steve, PLEASE tell me you are joking. It was bad enough when the Germans did away with the ß!

Hareega said...

The problem with this ameba called naegleria fowleri is that it is universally fatal and it hits healthy people, but the bug lives in fresh waters only, there was only one case in arizona this year near the borders with colorado

Liz Johnson said...

I'm pretty sure that amoeba is what's in my toilet tank.

Steve said...

Bridget, alas 'tis true, at least if you're British. Follow the link to witness the sad demise of the English language.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070921/od_nm/britain_hyphen1_dc

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