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Come out and say it!

W
riters sometimes tend to hint around at an idea rather than actually presenting it. That's fine in conversation, where a friendly listener nods as if to say "I know what you're getting at," but in writing it makes for statements so utterly unremarkable, they're not worth printing.

Or perhaps I'm overgeneralizing because I have such a good example. Here it is. In a story about ABC's plans to challenge CNN in the 24-hour-news arena, it was pointed out that one of CNN's claims to fame was that it "broadcast the 1986 space shuttle explosion."

Uh, yes, and so did every TV network on the planet. The point was that CNN was the only major outlet broadcasting the Challenger launch live when the disaster occurred. Perhaps the reporter wasn't sure whether that was true, but if it wasn't, then what kind of claim to fame could there possibly be? And why would that sentence be worth writing? Heck, I'm sure CNN also broadcast JFK's assassination at one point or another via the Zapruder film, but it would be silly to point that out, now, wouldn't it?


Now what?

Move on to LITERALLY SPEAKING

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