Rosie Right 

Talk the New Talk

Those of our readers who are Internet buffs probably know the words blog and blogger. Those who are not "surfers" must be hearing the terms more and more frequently. Rosie certainly is.

A search on the Web reveals that a blog is a hyperlinked site created by individuals. There are articles in various publications about blogs and bloggers, but when I asked a college student about the meanings, his response was not encouraging: "A blog is short for a Weblog. It is a personal Web site where a person posts frequent journal entries (accessible to everyone ) about themselves and their life, or (as is increasingly common) news "analysis" (these are usually just idiotic rants). I find them boring and self-indulgent, and the people who post rarely have anything interesting to say."

Not everyone agrees. A very popular blog is posted by hunor columnist Dave Barry. You can find his at www.blogger.com.

A pervasive word these days is embedded. We have, indeed, heard it too much. The meaning of embedded is a description of what happens to most news correspondents who are covering the Iraqi war. According to Martin Savidge, writing for CNN, the main "term is embedding. That's when a journalist lives with the troops as they do the thing they do." They stay with the same group. There is also another term that describes some of the other reporters. They are, according to The Washinton Post's David Ignatius, "unilateral" and are free to operate on their own.

Rosie was a bit bemused by embedding, because she lived through World War II and remembers that many writers accompanied the troops without any special description of their work. Ernie Pyle, for one, would be surprised by the pretentious term. Pyle was born in Indiana, and the Indiana Historical Society posted on its Web site the comments about him that were written by John Steinbeck:

"There are really two wars and they haven't much to do with each other. There is the war of maps and logistics of campaigns, of ballistics, armies, divisions and regiments — and that is General [George] Marshall's war.

"Then there is the war of the homesick, weary, funny, violent, common men who wash their socks in their helmets, complain about the food, whistle at the Arab girls, or any girls for that matter, and bring themselves through as dirty a business as the world has ever seen and do it with humor and dignity and courage — and that is Ernie Pyle's war."

Now, whether that's embedding or unilateralism, it's the description of a real reporter..

Let Rosie hear from you by mail (1707 Summit Ave., Richmond, Va. 23230), by phone (804) 358-0825, or by e-mail repps@styleweekly.com


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