Monday, August 13, 2007

Monday, August 13, 2007

News Shocker:

July 24, 2007
In Month Before Labor Day, Pointless 'Filler' Columns Abound

Lazy Columnists Pad Out Stories by Quoting Experts, Experts Say

In a phenomenon that occurs every year in the month before Labor Day, national columnists across America file pointless, content-free “filler” columns, enabling the lazy scribes to hit the beach earlier, according to observers who have been following this trend.

The “filler” columns are churned out in a matter of minutes with no loftier goal than meeting a deadline and filling up space -- meaning that columnists will often resort to using the same words or phrase again and again and again and again and again.

And rather than doing any original writing, the slothful columnists will rely on so-called “experts” to supply them with quotes to fill up space, experts say.

“They'll often quote people you've never heard of,” says Harold Crimmins, an expert in the field of filler columns. “It's pretty shameless.”

The typical “filler” column is often a reprint of a previously published column, but the writer will later plug in one cursory reference to current events, such as the DUI arrest of actress Lindsay Lohan, to disguise this fact.

And in order to fill up space even faster, Crimmins says, the lazy beach-bound columnist will compose his summer “filler” columns with short paragraphs.

Many of these paragraphs will be as short as one sentence, he says.

“Or shorter,” he adds.

There are other telltale signs a reader can look for in order to determine whether a writer has, in fact, filed a so-called “filler” column, according to Crimmins.

One of these is a tendency to repeat information that the reader has already read earlier in the article, with columnists even stooping to using the same quote twice.

“They'll often quote people you've never heard of,” Crimmins says.

Another tip-off is if the column ends abruptly.


Boy, porcupine babies give a *whole* new meaning to the term "labor pain", LOL!!


Not news (but it could be)

Mark Morford does it again!

I woke up this morning, and logged into my email. There was a link from Mark's blog. Knowing that even a bad column is a good column, I clicked. I laughed. The children have learned to pay no attention to the shrieks and gasps coming from my office when I'm reading his columns :-).

I'm *so* glad that I've established a "no drink" rule at the computer!!!

This guy is a young, hip, Andy Rooney ... an articulate, passionate, dead-on-point kvetcher about the stuff that bothers a lot of us. I don't always agree with everything he says, but I can see his point... and it usually makes me laugh (yes, Mark, I took your advice to "lighten up").

The new column?

Totally Free! Click Here Now!
Our national obsession, the thing we simply cannot resist, the most magical word of all


New Word: Axenic

axenic (ay-ZEN-ik, ay-ZEE-nik) adjective

Free from contamination.

[From Greek a- (not) + xenikos (foreign). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ghos-ti- (stranger, guest, or host, literally one who has a reciprocal duty of hospitality) that also gave us host, hostel, hostile, hostage, hospice, hospital, xenophobia, and xenon (a gas).]


Get rid of unwanted pests with these excuses...
(Drink alert!!)

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