This is a rant post.
I “read” the cnn.com article today about the Alaska “Volcano” that might go “kablooie” soon. The second sentence “annoyed” the crap out of me.
Why? Here’s the “quote”:
The Alaska Volcano Observatory said in a statement Friday “volcanic tremor” has increased in “amplitude.”
Why, oh why, do we have to quotate things like “volcanic tremor” and “amplitude”. Especially “volcanic tremor”. Shit, people. Everybody knows what a volcano is and everybody knows what a tremor is, and if they don’t they can bloody well figure it out from context! I’ll give them a bit of leeway for quotating “amplitude” but not much. We’re reading the science section on an internet website. If a person doesn’t know what “amplitude” means, they can google it. This is not 1899 anymore.
Grrr. Seriously, those quotes say to me, “our readers are too dumb to know what these words mean. We better use quotes because we’re not using the words as a part of the science article, we’re quoting a really smart dude who knows way more than us.”
If journalists want to write for the lowest common denominator, they need to read this first, and then start writing accordingly.