Saturday, April 04, 2009

Excessive Use of Adjectives on AM Radio

As I was driving North on California Highway One, all the traffic came to a halt near Aptos. I figured I better turn on the radio and try to get a traffic report to find out what was going on.
I found an AM station reporting that a big rig truck had a tire blow out, slid across the freeway, and burst into flames. So, we were going to be stuck a while.

While I was channel hopping to find a radio station with the news, I caught portions of conversations between the radio host and the callers. There was a very strange phenomenon occurring. The callers seem to have a fascination with long strings of adjectives. For example, one caller described a lawyer as a double decaf latte drinking, granola eating, Volvo driving, Eastern, liberal. Okay. I could visualize that person, and I probably know a lawyer who has most of those characteristics. However, the story and the conversation stopped there. The string of adjectives seemed to be the point. The caller seemed quite pleased with himself for coming up with the description. The host said something complimentary and moved on to the next caller.

Huh? Where is the plot? Where is the action? Where is the denouement? Where is the conclusion?

How about this:

The double decaf latte drinking, granola eating, Volvo driving, Eastern, liberal lawyer walked into the court room and made his closing arguments in his defense of his client, the accused child molester. As a public defender, this was his ninth time defending a child molester and the unseemliness of the whole process was wearing him down. He finished his summation and quickly drove home. In the quietness of his kitchen, he poured himself a Jack Daniels straight up and sat at the kitchen table gulping it down, staring out the window at the brick wall of the office building next door. He finished the drink, pulled his revolver out of the kitchen drawer, inserted it into his mouth, and pulled the trigger.

Okay. That was depressing. But at least it was a story. I challenge the AM radio callers to come up with more than a string of adjectives.

But then, the traffic started moving again, and I, the Darjeeling tea drinking, bicycle riding, Western, independent, married, software company president, turned off the radio and concentrated on driving back to my office where I could continue to ponder ways to attract, develop, motivate, and retain highly talented employees.

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