Needed: New Catchphrases To Describe Close Races


Vineta Sayer

Both MSNBC and Yahoo are carrying headlines calling the Democratic totals in Ohio "Too Close to Call." It's a phrase that shows up repeatedly but doesn't have any kind of mathematical rigor determining when the words go into effect. It's really just a proactive sounding way of saying, "we have no idea." Seeing as how those of us in the news reporting industry, whether talking heads or printed paper, are fundamentally word smiths, doesn't it seem odd we haven't managed to come with a couple more cute, alliterative turns of phrase to let the viewers at home know that things are tight and we're not going to guess because it is possible (read likely) we'll get it wrong.

Here are a few to get you started:

* Too Tight to Tell

* Too Narrow to Note

* Too Slim to Squeal

* Too Deadlocked to Declare

* Too Parallel to Postulate

And finally:

* We're Reporters, Why Are the Hell are You Looking to Us for Statistical Insight?

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