Are you certain?

CNN’s top story headline right now is

Warning: Ike may bring ‘certain death’

I’d just like to know what qualifications are needed to write headlines for CNN, because “good grasp of the English language” doesn’t seem to be on that list. If it “may”, it certainly isn’t “certain”.

Now to cut them a little bit of slack, the “certain death” line belongs to nameless weather forecasters. Evidently CNN doesn’t have a lot of faith in weather forecasters. Neither do I, so I can appreciate their hesitance to announce certain “certain death”. Still, the headline is an oxymoron, and should have been avoided.

And if you’re thinking there’s more important things at stake here than proper use of language, you’re right. Get out of the way of this storm!

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  • Jay  On September 12, 2008 at 8:25 am

    A better headline might be:
    Greater than 99.999% of Texans expected to avoid certain death

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