The Language of Langer

I wake up to the news. After too many mornings ruined by our fair city’s alternative rock station, WABE has become my morning alarm. Some people wake up and reach for a pack of smokes and their lighter. I just keep my head on the pillow and inhale Morning Edition. (Ah, now that’s choice Innskeep …)

But sooner or later, WABE will switch to the local feed. Renee Montaigne goes on break, Leah Fleming takes the wheel and steers us into morning Atlanta traffic with Rob Langer.

Here’s where the clanging in the grammar center of my brain begins. At the start of every traffic segment, Mr Langer tells us just which WABE’s corporate sponsor is behind this particular chunk of information. And while every other radio-bound traffic guy goes with some variant on “Today’s traffic is sponsored by _______” or something similiar, Rob reaches into a jumbled bag of vocabulary words and throws out:

“We do have our traffic being brought to us today by ________.”

Say it out loud. It is fairly obvious that Mr Langer knows his traffic — he’s even written about it — but this precarious stacking of verb upon verb almost hurts. Is it because of some strange rule about the phrasing of corporate sponsorships on public broadcasting? If you just come out and say that some company paid for a certain amount of time, is that a forbidden kind of advertising? Is this the kind of thing that only bothers me because I occasionally feel the need to justify my degree in English?

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