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Monday Memo: Pronouncers for Announcers

| October 28, 2019

By Holland Cooke


BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Warning:  I was once a high school English teacher.  And the way I write has several of my high school English teachers spinning-in-their-graves.  Mrs. Krause once told me, “It looks like, after you write something, you sprinkle it with a salt shaker of hyphens.”  So the following is not meant to nit-pick.

Ratings are a memory test.

  • In diary markets, they measure the sample’s “unaided recall.”
  • In PPM markets, awareness drives use.

Either way, nothing beats becoming a listener’s habit.  One way you earn that acceptance is by being accurate and understandable.  Communicating correctly can only help you connect with listeners.

Try to avoid jargon and malapropisms such…

  • “Remote:” Radio-speak you should avoid. To real people, it’s the clicker they use to change TV channels.  If you’ll be “broadcasting live from…” say it that way.
  • “PSA” is a prostate cancer test.
  • “Feedback:” To us, it’s a howling squeal. To listeners, it means offering comments.  Although on many talk stations, both happen at once.
  • “Anecdote”/”Antidote:” An anecdote is a story, often offered as an example of whatever’s being discussed, and often misspoken as “antidote,” what you would quickly drink if you had swallowed poison.
  • “Imply”/”Infer:” Both refer to what’s not stated outright. But only the speaker can imply, and only the listener can infer.
  • “I could care less!” People often say this when they mean the opposite.
  • “Jewelry:” NOT “jewlery,” which could offend some listeners.
  • “Supposably:” Supposedly
  • “For all intensive purposes:” For all intents and purposes.
  • “Irregardless:” Regardless
  • “Ex Cetera:” Et Cetera

And whatever you do, avoid clichés like the plague.  JUST kidding.

Holland Cooke ( is a media consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet.  He is the author of the e-book “Holland Cooke: Greatest Hits” an instant download available exclusively from Talkers Books.  Click the ad banner on this page.  And he hosts “The Big Picture” TV show on RT America.  Read HC’s Monday Memo each week at, and follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke

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Category: Advice