This post is neither a defense of Richard Blumenthal nor an indictment. It is a suggestion that we should treat the language better and say what we mean.
Blumenthal said he “misplaced words” when he said he served in Vietnam, rather than during Vietnam.
If I misplace “Connecticut,” and insert “Nightly,” I’m Gerry Brooks, anchor of NBC Nightly News. But I’m Gerry Brooks, anchor of NBC Connecticut News. The difference is a few million viewers and a few million dollars. (Not that Brian doesn’t earn every penny.)
On that note, let’s salute Campbell Brown, former NBC Newsworthy, for explaining why she’s leaving her primetime program on CNN:
“The simple fact is that not enough people want to watch my program, and I owe it to myself and to CNN to get out of the way so that CNN can try something else.”
Isn’t that refreshing?
Words are the currency I work with. They have great value. Used properly, they can inform and illuminate. Used poorly, they can distort and destroy.