Thursday, May 12, 2005

Bed Bugs and Plain English

An amusing article about bed bugs in hotels includes an unintentionally funny quote that illustrates the importance of using plain English in interviews. From Reuters via MSNBC:

Unlike mosquitoes, which can transmit malaria, yellow fever and West Nile virus, bed bugs have not been linked to anything more serious than the itchy, red welts that often appear on a victim’s skin. “There are no studies that have been done that show they vector anything,” said Bill Brogdon, an entomologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Hepatitis B has been specifically looked for and the studies have been negative so far.” [emphasis mine]
If you have any idea what this earnest scientist means by his use of "vector," please share it in a comment.

Monday, May 09, 2005

"Actual Expert Too Boring for TV"

The Onion is a particularly funny fake-news site, chock full of amusing and phony stories about life and society. Today they posted a really good piece, titled "Actual Expert Too Boring For TV," that should tickle the funny bone of media relations folks and media trainers.