CNN and the English language

In an article on today’s Medal of Freedom ceremony:

That can’t be what they wanted to say; it’s kind of weird to randomly insult the president in the middle of an otherwise apolitical article. Does “solemn platitude” have any positive connotations that I’m unaware of?

Yeah, that’s definitely the wrong word.

Naw, if they wanted to say “dull or insipid pronouncements” they would have said “blandishments”.

Hmmm. I always thought blandishments were a delicious buffet food.

CNN.com has been verbally fucktarded for a long time now.

Er, I meant to say, they have been functionally illiterate, for a long time now. I can’t count the number of times I have seen stupid–FUCKING STUPID!–spelling errors and poor grammar/diction in CNN.com articles. I’m always glad when someone comes along and calls out these gaffs in the comments section.

Actually, in all likelihood, the description was perfectly accurate, and Obama probably did utter “solemn platitudes”. It would refreshing to see all reporters be as franck as that :smiley:

Do you have a link to the article or has it disappeared?

http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/02/15/medal.of.freedom/index.html?hpt=T2

I take it the word they’re looking for is “plaudit”?

In that case then someone at CNN should follow the same advice I give everyone attempting to write anything on a computer and &^%# turn off the &^%# autocorrect!! :mad:

I always feel like plaudit needs another syllable. I’ve been known to say “plauditude” before.

I think what they meant to say was that Obama used the same boilerplate speech that many CEOs use when “recognizing” drones and minions who they do not in fact actually recognize.

I hate autocorrect. It always prints %&**! when I want to type %&*@^.

I’m putting my money on CNN by TKO in the fourth round. I know CNN has gotten a lot weaker over the years, but the English language has sustained many beatings and I don’t think CNN will let up until it’s dead. :wink:

That said, I think CNN used the word it meant to use, and if you wanted to, you could say they were being unusually honest. Events like these are usually not occasions for soaring rhetoric. Usually they feature recitations of the honoree’s accomplishments and a little bit of “Webster’s dictionary defines _____ as…” Here’s a transcript of Obama’s remarks from the ceremony. I’m not saying it’s horrible, but if you wanted to say that some of it is trite I don’t think anybody would start a fistfight over it.

I don’t think so. They would never have written “Obama blended humor with solemn-sounding trite cliches,” but that’s what they ended up saying because they don’t know what “platitude” means.

Perhaps I’m being cynical. It’s possible they used the wrong word but I’m not positive.

That’s sort of a point in the OP’s favor. I’m guessing Obama recognizes Bill Russell, Maya Angelou, George H. W. Bush, Yo-Yo Ma, and Stan Musial.

Whoever wrote it didn’t really understand what the word means. Opinions that it’s accurate are immaterial. Calling a statement a “platitude” is subjective and editorializing, not objective reporting of fact.

I thought a “platitude” was a duck-billed monotreme.

I’d pay money to watch our president blend humor with solemn duck-billed monotremes.

[Col. Nathan R. Jessup] Are there any other kind? [/Col. Nathan R. Jessup]

Actually, they’re rather flavorless.