Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Comments, please
Okay, so I was going off-air for a week or so, but just had to show you this.
In the letters to the editor of today's Los Angeles Times, there's one headed 'Sorry to be so grandiloquent'. Here's the text of the letter:
I loved Rachel Abramowitz's profile of M. Night Shyamalan ["Freed by Failure," June 8]. However, I have a great deal of concern about the future of newspapers and her article made me ask, "How many Los Angeles residents under 40 (a demographic newspapers must keep and expand if they are to remain in business) know the meaning of the following words in this one article: phantasmagoria, bucolic, aesthetic, soupcon, diminution, schadenfreude, contretemps and vicissitudes?"
The L.A. Times needs to speak to all the residents of Los Angeles. I ask that its writers go out in the real world. Ask people if they know what these words mean. They don't.


Karen said...

Nyuk nyuk nyuk!
(Was going to "confess to a soupcon of schadenfreude" etc, but the laundry awaits, along with the cleaning, shopping etc. Ah, the vicissitudes of la vie quotidienne, etc.)

Anonymous said...

Perhaps that deficit exists with the writer of the letter rather than the journalist.

Sorry, too many big words? You're not too smart!

Victoria said...

Um, I know four of them. I'm not telling which ones I don't know..

Fairlie said...

I was okay with all of them...except phantasmagoria - which perhaps I could have worked out from the context?

Jennifer said...

Tragic that the reader didn't take the opportunity to enhance his/her vocabulary and take it as a sign that more work (reading, looking things up) was required rather than to decide that the writer (and newspaper) need to dumb down and in so doing further reduce the level of education of the populace. I guess this is bringing out my own "letter to the editor" kind of language, but really -- it makes me weep for my country.