LINGUIST List 13.2195

Thu Aug 29 2002

Media: Re: Lehrer News Hour 8/27/02

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  1. Suzette Haden Elgin, Media; Lehrer News Hour 8/27/02

Message 1: Media; Lehrer News Hour 8/27/02

Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 08:34:30 -0500
From: Suzette Haden Elgin <>
Subject: Media; Lehrer News Hour 8/27/02

August 28, 2002

I watched with dismay last night as a complete segment ran on PBS's
"Lehrer News Hour" on the topic of the current news-reporter register
for American English. Over and over again, examples of sentences
"without verbs" were presented and discussed, despite the fact that
they had verbs galore. It was clear from the beginning that the
phenomenon for discussion was sentences without _copulas_, not
sentences without verbs, but everyone participating went on and on
about the way all the "verbs" were being left out.

If the level of scientific accuracy for this segment is typical for
the show -- something I would not have expected -- then viewers need
to be very dubious about segments on physics and astronomy and all the

Suzette Haden Elgin
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