Friday, July 15, 2011

Dead Man Marching

Today in The Province, columnist Jon Ferry writes about a friend and colleague, Claude Adams, who was sacked from his job as a writer for the CBC evening newscast after an unfortunate error made in the heat of wordsmithing battle:
Under intense deadline pressure, he was tasked to write an intro to a story about a police dog reportedly locked in a sweltering SUV while its RCMP handler went fishing. Adams assumed the dog was dead, which is what anchor Tony Parsons faithfully read on the air.  
The problem was the dog, a 10-month-old German Shepard, survived. Which was good for the dog and even for Parsons, who calmly delivered an on-air correction. But it was bad for Adams...the next day he was called into executive producer Wayne Williams' office and given his marching orders.
But "marching orders" are directives a superior gives when dispensing an assignment. I think Ferry means that the hapless Adams received his "walking papers," which, although it sounds better (who wouldn't prefer a blithesome amble with some papers to a forced march?) is in fact the more disagreeable of the two.