July 5, 1971

Waddaya Want?

JAMA. 1971;217(1):69. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03190010051010

Violence on television shows has been criticized as an evil influence on young viewers. That may be so, but witness the advertising.

"Onions taste good like they naughtily should." Evidently, some school teachers protested the "like," and the onion growers countered with, "Waddaya want good grammar or good taste?" (Fortunately, onions are no longer advertised on TV.)

Also, witness the announcers, the commentators, and the script writers. Here are a few examples.

Script: "We appreciate you gathering here."

NEWS commentator: "A vast supply of ammunition and drugs were seized."

Quiz-GAME announcer: "If one of our contestants wins five matches or $2,000, they can..."

Sports announcers: "He's the kind that can score when..." or "Everyone's got their right to..." and "These kind of players...

The list could be endless. We believe that the most pernicious influence on young television watchers is not violence; it is bad grammar. If we are to