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Makes You Wish You Could Just Vi

| Learning | April 13, 2017

(I am not a communications major, but as part of an elective class I take, I get to work at the student-run campus radio station. Yeah, it is a class requirement and it is work, but it can also be a lot of fun. One assignment I have is as a news reader: I am paired with another student, and when the time for a news break comes we alternate reading current news story printouts pulled off of a wire service. I am paired with student who has told me he wants to be a TV journalist and is going to be “the next high-profile TV newsman.” No doubt he has ambition, but he effortlessly embodies every stereotype of the airheaded blond. After many on-air stumbles, this final incident confirms to me that he won’t get far in his chosen profession. I have just finished reading a story, and he starts in on his. It is about the campus Air Force ROTC holding a 24-hour vigil at a prominent flagpole in honor of fallen military members. Two things quickly became clear as he begins to read: (1) He had not read through the story beforehand — a big no-no — and (2) he has never before seen or heard the word “vigil.” He begins:)

Student: “Cadets from the Air Force ROTC will be holding a 24-hour…” *five-second pause here* “…VIE-jul at the flagpole in front of the administration building…”

(Appalled, I scanned down the news copy he was holding and saw that there were three or four more occurrences of “vigil” in the story. And he said every one the same way. It may be possible he achieved success in broadcasting, but I never heard anything more about him after college.)

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