Thursday, August 10, 2006

We All Make Them

Tim and I listened to our fair share of NPR when we were on the road this summer. Along with the usual world news, human interest stories, and general information, one thing always seemed to occur when we would listen to Talk of the Nation and All Things Considered, our favorite shows. The hosts of the show would share a correction from earlier shows. These corrections were always brought to their attention by their listeners.

Sometimes these corrections were dates that were incorrect. Sometimes they were pronunciation errors. The hosts are always so humble and gracious about their mistakes and thanked the listeners, but it leaves me with a question. Who are these people that correct others?

Who are these people that, first, want to take the time to write to NPR to tell them of their mistake. Are these the same strain of people that will correct others when they make a simple mistake that really doesn't change the content of the story? You know at least one of these people. I think I might even know two. This person takes joy in correcting people. For example, I am sure the people that correct the hosts of NPR love to tell the story that they were cited for a correction on their favorite radio show. In person, these are the people that say something like, "Oh, Sara, you meant Tuesday," when I mistakenly said Thursday but that wasn't the point of my story. How rude? Very rude.

This is a pet peeve of mine because I think unless it makes a huge difference in the information or story that the person is sharing, there is no need to interrupt a person to correct them. It just makes the corrected feel stupid and make the corrector look pompous. Correct me if I am wrong.


shelly said...

the stamp act issue?

Sara said...

Yes! That was one of the examples. There were a few others on the radio. Geez.

Anonymous said...

Good thought in today's blog. I admit to having been That Guy (in conversation, not writing letters to media) and like to think I'm improving. For many of the corrections, the NPR hosts wouldn't need to mention them but they've made it into an entertaining part of shows. Sometimes it's interesting insight from an enthusiast in the subject matter. -Kirk

Anonymous said...

Hmm, it almost looks like I'm telling you the corrections to NPR are good but I'm just saying that I like where NPR has taken it. :) -Kirk

Courtney said...

And to top off your observations, these same people, or the ones whom I've known, are the same type who cannot take corrections well themselves. So, it's this oxymoronic pairing of over-scrutinizing others but preserving yourself from that human element of err. Whatever people!

Mathman said...

I'm find that I correct people all the time, and my wife hates it! Around her I usually try to let things slide.

I have to say that since I have started carpooling to work, my weekday NPR listening has diminished to almost nothing. I really miss listening to Morning Edition and All Things Considered.