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updated: 4/24/2013 5:06 PM

Even on fishing shows, how you speak matters

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A very angry Rick G. wrote to me after his visit to his local pharmacy.

"I was so sick I couldn't stop throwing up," he said, "so I had to buy some over-the-counter concoction that would ease the stomach cramps."

After reading his opening lines I wondered if he was bothered by something I had written here in my column, or perhaps was commenting on my outdoor radio talk show.

Rick continued: "I am a retired teacher and in my opinion the only way I can escape the ignorance of today's societal morons is to build a place in the mountains and grow old peacefully, without any negative outside influences."

Rick even suggested he could and probably would be able to sustain himself with the rewards of wild game and fresh fish.

Rick's heartburn factor shoots sky-high when he tunes in to the outdoor fishing shows on cable and listens to the boys expound on their boats, tackle, and the various species of fish they're trying to catch.

Mrs. Courtwright was my fifth-grade English teacher. She has gone on to the great blackboard in the sky. And out all of the grade-school teachers, she was one of my favorites. She was from the south and yet she claimed she was more Yankee than Casey Stengel. She never spoke with any kind of southern accent as well.

And I know that if she was alive today, she would pull all of her beautiful white hair out from her head. In fact, Mrs. Courtwright and Rick would have made a good team.

Rick explained his frustration with the fishing program hosts and their guests when they use words such as biggun', trollin' motor, sow, hole-shot, jiggin', riggin', hook-um, toad, chunk, and hawg.

I once took both barrels from a chap who lived in the far south suburbs and is now one of the talking heads on ESPN's fishing programs. He didn't like my reference to southern bass angler pros casting lures to the banks of lakes. He bristled at my description of some of the pros as "the boys with three first names."

Back to Mrs. Courtwright.

This wonderful and caring teacher was a very genteel lady who made sure my classmates and I understood that proper English language was just that: proper.

She once lectured us that, "You are or perceived how you address others, and your language skills help set the stage for your successes."

I sent that quote to Rick and he thanked me for understanding his plight.

I have come to realize that modern-day reality television programs fall into the same category as some of the TV fishing shows, in that many of the characters seen on the tube demonstrate a level of homespun reality that appears to tickle the fancy of the viewing public.

Now, I don't mind being tickled, but please just talk to me in a language I can understand.

By the way, do the pros really troll with their electric motors? I personally thought these expensive accoutrements were being used to help hold a boat's position on the water while the angler searches directly under the boat.

Gotta go now and look for some chunks, some hawgs of the deep, and maybe a sow or two.

•Contact Mike Jackson at, and catch his radio show 6-7 a.m. Sundays on WSBC 1240-AM and live-streamed at

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