Pause For Thought.

21Jul14

I couldn’t believe it when I head the newsreader say, “The number of people out of work in the UK has fallen to two”.

Then she started another sentence,”Point three million.

I hear this all the time when broadcasters give out big numbers. Last week it was reported that, “the number of people having gastric bands fitted has risen by five.”

“Hundred and thirty percent and has now peaked at one”.

“Thousand three hundred and sixteen”.

They say the first digit, pause and then carry on. The problem is caused by numbers being written on the auto-cue in digits. The presenter doesn’t want to make a mistake so they say the first digit out loud, then pause while they quickly count how many digits there are in total. That way they know whether their next word should be “hundred”, “thousand” or “million”.

The way to fix this problem is simple, all numbers written in broadcast copy should be written in words. That way they’ll get it right ninety-nine point nine times out of one hundred.

Craic on!

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