Does anyone else get irritated when television news reporters use the present tense to describe events that happened in the past? It makes me want to go all Elvis on the TV set.
Much to the chagrin of my family, I call out corrections, louder with each one. As in: "It was a hot August night in 1986 in the small town of Dry Stream when Joe Beater decides ("Decided") to run off with his little girl's Sunday school teacher. But the day before he leaves ("Left"), he goes ("Went, you idiot!") into Big Daddy's Gun and Tackle shot and buys ("BOUGHT!!!) a 12-gauge shotgun and ammo. Two days later, his wife is found dead ("WAS FOUND DEAD!!! OH MY GOD WHEN DID YOU DROP OUT OF SCHOOL?!!")
Needless to say, by the end of the show, I'm watching alone.
Unfortunately, this grammatical irritant is no longer confined to those magazine-y shows. On NBC News with Brian Williams tonight, aired two hours ago, one of the reports used the present tense to describe an event that happened over the weekend. Or perhaps I should have written, "On NBC News with Brian Williams tonight, aired two hours ago, one of the reporters uses the present tense to describe an event that happens over the weekend."
I guess I'll soon be watching the news alone, too.