Don’t want to do any research? Time for some weasel language

The Media Guardian has a curious article today on the effect that John Spencer’s death will have on The West Wing. I say curious because it seems to be written by someone who doesn’t know that much about how television works and can’t even be bothered to find out. Take this quote

The West Wing, which is in production on its seventh season and is thought to have got two or three episodes in the can before Spencer died…

“Is thought to have” is a great weasel phrase. You can use it in all sorts of articles. You can use it for making statements that you don’t have the facts to confirm, the confidence to assert or which may even be completely untrue (eg “The Prime Minister is thought to have refused the deal in no uncertain language”, “President Bush is thought to have taken bribes from Osama bin Laden”).

Continue reading “Don’t want to do any research? Time for some weasel language”

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Charlie from Space Cadets reveals his secret identity online (and gives us a drinking game)

Charlie Skelton, astronautI’ve not been watching Space Cadets much. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s rubbish. However, I’ve kept an occasional eye on it because of Charlie Skelton, one of the undercover moles sent to infiltrate the “space cadets”. Why? He runs a blog with my sister about cats.

Before he went in, Charlie left the world a Space Cadets drinking game. If you’re still actually watching the show by the final, I exhort you to try: it should relieve the pain.