Every morning I get to my office at 8:30, check email, check voicemail, check in with my boss and then run around the corner to buy a cup of wildly inconsistent coffee (one day my vanilla latte has absolutely no vanilla syrup, the next it's so sugary it might as well be from a gas station)(but it's an independent place and not Starbucks, so I feel the pull to keep buying from them despite the varying degrees of taste). Then I sit back down at my desk and sip at my coffee while reading the daily news on my favorite website-- IMDB.com.
The gossip is usually at least a day old, but the language is priceless. IMDB has a truly delightful way with verbs. Celebrities are forever "slamming rumors," "racing to contradict allegations" or "angrily lashing out." Oh, the action of it all! Simple pull-quotes are wildly exaggerated. To take but one example:
"Heath Ledger is desperate to have five more children... [he] is convinced having six children will bestow endless fame and fortune upon his family!"
The quote this came from? "Six. That's close to the figure we're talking about."
Reading IMDB's gossip news, I'm struck by the linguistic banality of my own writing. I've never hotly confronted anyone, and am fairly sure that I've never slammed rumors of any kind nor been embroiled in any wrangles. I'm not even sure what being embroiled in a wrangle is, although it sounds pretty fun, if a little messy.
Maybe I should start blogging in the manner of IMDB News: "EJ hotly contradicted reports that she bracingly overslept this morning. Hair akimbo, she angrily slammed rumors that she cares more about ten minutes of extra sleep than blow-drying her fair locks. 'Yeah,' she said to a reporter, 'I was tired this morning.' Fans scrambled for more information, shrieking in angst and running wild through the hills slaughtering innocent woodland creatures when her publicist would neither bash nor assert these allegations."