Matt Lauer’s Repeated Grammar Faux Pas

Matt LauerI get most of my news online, but while flipping TV channels one morning over breakfast, I caught Matt Lauer of NBC’s TODAY show saying, “We’re back after this.”

I replied out loud to no one in particular: “No, Matt, you will be back after this. We’re back is what you say when you actually come back.”

Matt has been uttering this ungrammatical phrase for a long time — I suspect since his foray into the world of media in 1979. I remember catching him years ago and even then being irritated when he announced before commercial breaks, “We’re back after this.”

I didn’t have a blog to express my disapproval then.

What do you suppose Matt Lauer’s annual salary is for his role on TODAY?
Would $25 million a year sound about right?

What training / education does Lauer have that prepared him to host a television show?
Would 4 credits short of a bachelor’s degree in the School of Media Arts and Studies from Ohio University cover it?

Do you think television hosts should use Standard English?
I’ve railed in the past about highly paid television hosts, pundits and newscasters and their often careless grammar. I just learned that I’m not alone. A fellow grammarian posted this blog: Should Radio and TV Hosts Have Good Grammar?

To me, that’s a rhetorical question: Of course they should!

She lists four examples, and I strongly agree with her pointing out the pervasive use of there’s / there is when phrasing dictates there are. I consider it today’s most-repeated grammatical error.

There’s There are many issues to consider before you make a decision.
How can you draw that conclusion when there is there are so few facts available?
When there’s there are multiple contradictions, how can you take the candidate seriously?

I can’t say whether Matt Lauer uses there’s when he should use there are, but I do know he could improve the way he announces a commercial break: We’ll be back after this.

OK … rant over. Thanks for sticking with me on this. I feel better already.

What are your grammar pet peeves?

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Kathy Watson

Kathy Watson has a love/hate relationship with grammar; she loves words and the punctuation that helps them make sense, yet she hates those pesky rules. A self-proclaimed ruthless editor, she prefers standard usage guidelines of The Associated Press Stylebook. Her easy-to-use Grammar for People Who Hate Rules helps people write and speak with authority and confidence. She encourages and welcomes questions and comments. (Email)