Vs. Stating the Obvious

Posted: June 14, 2011 in Language
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Here’s the deal.  If you’re going to bother to take the time to put something on TV, please take the time to say something that isn’t blatantly obvious.  Give us a little insight.  Something to think about.  Some new information.

Example #1: A couple of weeks ago, I kept seeing an ad for some show on the Discovery Channel about guys capturing crocodiles.  In this spot, one of the men shouts out the following advice, “Don’t put your fingers in the croc’s mouth!”

Phylum : Chordata - Class : Reptilia - Order :...

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That sentence alone was enough to make me not want to watch the show.  That’s the type of programming that will not provide me with new information.  I’ve never even been near a crocodile, and yet I already know not to put my fingers in its mouth.  Call it instinct. 

I don’t think there’s anybody out there who was thinking, “Hmmmm, I wonder where a good place to put my fingers would be?  I know!  I can rest them right here in this crocodile’s mouth.  What?  What’s that?  Oh, don’t put my fingers in the croc’s mouth?  Thanks for the heads up!”

Example #2:  I saw an interview with a woman who had won six million dollars in the state lottery.  Who isn’t a little bit curious about what this would feel like?  So, I was interested to get the inside scoop.  Until the lucky lady said, “Stuff like this just doesn’t happen to me.” 

Really?  Because stuff like this happens to most people all the time.  “What happened to you today?”  “I won six million dollars in the lottery.”  “Again?”

Example #3: I was flipping through the channels last week and paused on CNN.  The reporter informed me that, “After two straight days of going up, today their stocks went in the opposite direction, down.” 

I’m pretty sure he could have ended that sentence after the word, “direction.” 

I’m not saying that everyone that watches CNN is a genius, but I’m willing to bet that most of them know what the opposite of up is.  Am I the only one who read Everything I Needed to Know to Watch CNN I Learned in Kindergarten?

So, how am I going to do it?   How will I obliterate the obvious?  Never fear, I’m currently training a team of proof readers to unleash on the world.  We’ll start with TV, double checking every script and speech to verify that none of the commentary is patently obvious (“This just in, the sun is hot”).  Then we’ll move on to other forms of media, eradicating the apparent wherever we go, taking all of the obvious patter that is bad and moving it in the opposite direction…come on, you know this one…

  1. angelina says:

    I love how people always say two twins. Really?? Unless i flunked math, And i will admit i came close, twins only come in a pair. Otherwise they would be called triplets and so on.

  2. Elizabeth Dodd says:

    I can remember (long, long time ago, but I can remember) my English teacher warning us not to say “return back”. Means the same thing. But I have heard a newsperson say that recently!

    But signs tell everything!! You can just bet that if there was a sign stating “Don’t put your hand in the crocodile’s mouth”–someone has tried it!

    • Makya McBee says:

      Angelina – Yes, I suppose that two twins would actually be four people. Good point.

      Elizabeth – You’re right, someone probably has tried to put their hand in the crocodile’s mouth, of course, they risk the chance that their hand will not be returned back…

  3. Jennifer says:

    I love the instructions on some appliances stating the mere obvious: “Do not use in shower.” — On a hair dryer. But, still I guess someone somewhere (God help them) still use hair dryers in showers. Otherwise we wouldn’t need the obvious instructions!

  4. jimsnyder1 says:

    Of course I’m stating the obvious here but, “This Blog is hilarious!” (Don’t hate me).

  5. roxyhart1973 says:

    I just found on the zappos.com website that they have a sign in the upper right hand corner that says, “365 Day Return Policy, in other words, 1 full year!” Thank you Captain Obvious.

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