Monday Memo: Say What? Part Deux | TALKERS magazine - talk media trade : TALKERS magazine – “The bible of talk media.”

Monday Memo: Say What? Part Deux

| July 22, 2019

By Holland Cooke


BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Ever since our February 4 column, amigos have been needling me about that week’s “Don’t say that. Say this.” List.  Now there’s a consultant caricature, eh?

“But WAIT!  There’s MORE!”  Hear me out…

 “on the FM dial”

It’s a digital read-out now.  “Dial” was those TV-size radios in the 1930s.

“on the Web”

This is as-dated-as “log on.”  People are now always-on, on smartphones, and the Internet is now second-nature and increasingly invisible.  “On the Web” won’t bring listeners to your site.  Only refer to your web site by its domain name.

“Let me ask ya this…”

Accomplishes nothing and makes you sound inexperienced or unprepared.  It’s your show, just ask.


As a single-word sentence, it’s THE most annoying word to nearly half of Americans polled by Marist Institute for Public Opinion.

When you say “ironically,” do you mean “coincidentally?”

Dictionary definition: Irony is “incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result.”  Are you, instead, describing the opposite?  Coincidence = similar events.

Are you mispronouncing “Rasmussen?”

As in Rasmussen Report polls: Accent on the first syllable, not the second.  “RASS-mussen,” not “rass-MEW-sen,” per Scott, and his dad Bill (the founder of ESPN), whom I knew 50 years ago.

Are you mispronouncing “association?”

It’s “a-so-see-A-shun,” not “a-so-she-A-shun,” as you can click-to-hear at:

Cliché alert: “all-important”

As in “let’s check that all-important forecast,” often heard when weather is severe or changing quickly.  If it’s important, don’t insert a cliché.  Get right to it.

Malapropism alert: “undoubtably”

Unquestionably, you mean “undoubtedly.”

Don’t say “Millennials” to Millennials.

Why put yourself needlessly at-arm’s-length from them?  They’re less ageist than their elders.

Holland Cooke (OBVIOUSLY a former high school English teacher) is a media consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet; and he hosts “The Big Picture” TV show on RT America.  To download his E-book “Holland Cooke Greatest Hits,” click the ad panel on this page.  Read HC’s Monday Memo each week at, and follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke

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Category: Advice