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Pat McMahon

Media mouths do not bode well for Arizona education

For as long as I can remember, the citizens of Arizona have talked about the quality of education in our state and the discussions are rarely very positive.

I personally don't think that things are going to get much better in the future if our kids watch and listen to much local media.

Now, please believe me. I'm not one of those retired English teacher-types who spends the day waiting to pounce on a mistaken use of the past pluperfect. Broadcasters are constantly walking a linguistic plank because we're all participating in at-the-moment spontaneous conversation and that's where all the pitfalls are.

However, when material is recorded in advance or is proofread by several people we shouldn't hear such elementary mistakes as "They gave the information to the police and I' or "It was sweeped away" instead of "swept," both heard this week on the air.

If you try to count the verbal crutches "you know" and "like" in a typical sentence, it will take almost as much time as keeping track of the misspelled words in a TV newscast.

But how can we expect a command of the language on the air when, in daily life, we are all addressed as "You guys?"

I'm Pat McMahon.

About the Author

He's done it all -- and keeps doing it. His career in local Arizona radio and television dates back the late 60s. Pat always stimulates with his thought provoking, opinionated, and entertaining commentaries on the Arizona Morning News while hosting award-winning talkshows like "The McMahon Group" and "The God Show."

"The McMahon Group" features an unpredictable all-star panel where three people from the community get together and give their thoughts on the news of the week. He also hosts "The God Show" on Sunday's where he talks about all aspects of spirituality.

Pat is also well known outside of radio because of his multifaceted career as an actor, producer, recording artist, writer, broadcaster, and one-third of the legendary comedy team that was on TV for 35 years in Arizona, "The Wallace and Ladmo Show."

Through the many experiences of his professional life, Pat has been richly rewarded with 7 Emmys, major national and international radio awards as well as numerous civic, educational, religious and humanitarian awards. Pat was also a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Ottawa University, the Arizona Broadcasters Lifetime achievement Award, and has his bronze likeness hanging in the rotunda of the Herberger Theater in recognition of his contributions to Communications & The Arts.


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