I listen to a lot of Red Sox games on the radio. I like the game-calling by Joe Costiglione well enough. Joe is boring, but competent. His sidekick Dave O’Brien drives me a bit nuts, as he’s pompous & tends to talk in broadcasterese more than English. I can abide the cliches even if I don’t like them, (“twin killing” for double play; “became strikeout victim” for “struck out”, etc) but the mangled grammar is really irksome. O’Brien’s inability to master the conditional sentence, especially the “third conditional” is particularly annoying. Instead of saying, for example, “if Ortiz had hit the ball he would not have struck out and the Red Sox might not have lost the game,” O’Brien ponderously intones “Ortiz hits that ball, he doesn’t strike out and the Sox are still playing.” With O’Brien at the mic, there’s only present tense. You might think that a professional broadcaster would have familiarity with the nuances of our language. Not O’Brien. He talks like somebody who never went to school. It irritates the hell out of me.
But O’Brien & Costiglione’s game-calling is positively Shakespearean compared to the advertising copy that they and others read. Radio ads on Red Sox games are universally ungrammatical to the point of being illogical and often barely comprehensible.
So anyway, just to amuse myself, I’m going to compile a list of horribly mangled sentences broadcast during Red Sox games, especially in ads. Later this season I’ll write an inspired rant on the topic. I welcome your help. If you hear anything particularly egregious, please leave a comment in this thread, or send a note to john at this here website.