I can’t imagine I am the only one who notices a disturbing trend among news reporters and anchors. In an effort to make their copy sound active, they add “ing” to all the verbs. I’ll give you an example from my own life. Here goes:
“Tough night for Sandy last night, lying awake with a stuffy nose and body aches, her husband hoping to sleep through the snoring, their dog getting away from all the coughing at the end of the bed. Sandy still feeling crappy this morning, complaining that she might not get to go out tonight for Valentine’s Day. Jim, hoping she’s feeling well enough to cook him something to eat.”
You get the picture. Next time you watch ABC World News Tonight, listen to the way they talk. It is a whole new vernacular. As many of you know, I used to be a TV news reporter, and I assure you we didn’t used to talk like this. Though I’m not certain what grammatical abomination they’re committing, I do know it makes my teeth clench every time I hear it. If you know how to describe this phenomenon in grammatical terms, let me know. I can’t actually write them to complain unless I know exactly what they’re doing. William Safire I obviously am not.